By: Mohit Singhal
IND Vs SA: The unbeaten streak of South Africa on Indian soil was sustained as the rain had different plans in the last match at Bengaluru which could have been the perfect thriller of a match with a series shared at 2-2.
During the process, Indian skipper Rishabh Pant once again lost the toss becoming the first-ever captain to lose 5 or more tosses in a bilateral T20i series.
Visitors forced a change in stand-in-skipper Keshav Maharaj who replaced injured Temba Bavuma. Maharaj elected to field first after winning the toss here at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Owing to 50 minutes of stoppage game was reduced to 19 overs per innings. Rishabh Pant went unchanged with the playing 11 and thus Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad started the things for the Blues.
Ishan in the very first over by Proteas captain blasted two consecutive sixes showing the intent.
In the next over by Lungi Ngidi, 23-year-old Jharkhand keeper’s stumps were dismantled with the back of the length delivery dipping straight into the wickets.
Mumbai Indians batter was the highest run-scorer in this series accumulating 206 runs in 5 innings at 41.20.
Gaikwad who had a dismal series once again failed to make the occasion count with Ngidi picking up twice once again with a slower delivery, and Ruturaj attempting to go over the bowler’s head; couldn’t back the shot properly and found a fielder at mid-on in Dwayne Pretorius.
At 28/2 after 3.3 overs with Pant coming in at the middle, rain once again showed his presence and ensured that no team will go with a trophy from here. At around 10 PM IST, umpires decided to abandon the game as further play was impossible.
With 6 wickets in a bag and a wonderful display of swing bowling by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the 32-year-old pacer was adjudged as the player of the series.
Not just scalping 6 wickets got him this award, he had a stunning economy rate as well leaking only 85 runs in 14 overs he bowled in total.
With this trophy, Bhuvi had one more record under his name; becoming the only pacer from India to receive this trophy four times overcoming the record of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma who won this thrice.
Previously, he got player of the series in 2013 in a tri-series against Sri Lanka and West Indies, in 2014 in Tests against England and South Africa in 2018.