By: Mohit Singhal
IND Vs SA: After showing scintillating form in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore, 37-year-old Dinesh Karthik proved his worth in the Indian colours too and has put a needle over the selectors why was he ignored for most of his career.
On Friday in the fourth T20I against South Africa, Karthik blazed his first half-century in the shortest format while coming into the bat when India was struggling to go ahead in the do-or-die match at Saurashtra Cricket Stadium, Rajkot to equalise the series after trailing 0-2 in the five-match series.
Now it will be a mouth-watering decider in the fifth match on Sunday at the bowler’s hell Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore.
Commentating in the India tour o f England last year, Dinesh once said his dream is to represent India in the world cup in Australia and can fill up the shoes left by legend MS Dhoni.
Proving his statement and words, Dinesh smashed his first fifty-plus score in international T20Is and becomes the oldest Indian to hit 50 in this format.
He raced to his half-century at the age of 37 breaking the record of former captain Dhoni who reached the feat at the age of 36.
Coming in at the middle when India was trailing at 81/4 after 13 overs, Tamil Nadu keeper batter reached his fifty in just 26-balls. He scored 55 which comprised of 9 fours and 2 sixes in it.
He found an able partner in man-in-form Hardik Pandya who struck another fine knock of 46 in 31 balls smashing 3 fours and sixes a piece.
With their stunning partnership of 65 runs in 33 balls, India set a total of 169/6 which proved effective.
Defending a competitive total of 170 to equal the series, Avesh Khan starred in the bowling with an astonishing figure of (4/18) in the complete quota of overs.
The 25-year-old pacer from Madhya Pradesh first had Dwayne Pretorius in his bag who was also included in the mix-up between De Kock which saw keeper batter return to the pavilion scoring just 14 runs after returning from an injury.
He also dismissed dangerous Rassie van der Dussen who in an attempt to keep up with the required rate, miscued the shot only to find Ruturaj Gaikwad at deep mid-wicket. He further picked Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj to record his best T20I figure.
Chahal too scalped two wickets with getting ample support from Harshal Patel who had a great night with a figure of 2-0-3-1 picking up dangerous Miller.
With the ruthless bowling effort, India dismissed Proteas to a mere 87 runs to grab a win by a huge margin of 82 runs.
Now, a thrilling finale awaits at the Bengaluru with India looking on to continue their home domination.