India beat South Africa by 49 runs in the third T20 by 48 runs to stay alive in the five-match series at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy stadium in Vishakhapatnam on Tuesday.
Quickfire fifties by Ruturaj Gaikwad (57 off 35) and Ishan Kishan (54 off 35) propelled India to 179/5 in 20 overs. Apart from Gaikwad and Kishan, Hardik Pandya (31 not out off 21) gave final flourish to Indian innings, after being invited to bat first.
Indian bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals and eventually bowled out South Africa for 131.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Harshal Patel were the pick of the Indian bowlers in the defence of 180 while Axar Patel and Bhuveneshwar Kumar picked one wicket each.
“The execution was spot-on from the bowlers and the batters. We were 15 runs short, but we weren’t thinking about that. Bowlers did a fantastic job for us. In India, spinners play a big role and there is pressure on them, when they come off nicely then matches like this happen. When you get a good start, it’s difficult for a new batter to come in and go big straightaway. We lost too many wickets. We’ll look to improve in the next match. We have to make sure that we finish the game with a bigger margin, said India skipper Rishabh Pant.
Brief scores: India 179/5 in 20 Overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 57, Ishan Kishan 54; Dwaine Pretorius 2/29) won to South Africa 131/10 in 19.1 Overs (Heinrich Klaasen 29, Reeza Hendricks 23; Harshal Patel 4/25) by 48 runs.