India win 3rd T20I to clinch series

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Cape Town: Indian skipper Virat Kohli receives the ICC Test Championship mace during the post match presentation ceremony of the 3rd T20I match between India and South Africa at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb 24, 2018. (Photo: BCCI/IANS) (Credit Mandatory)

Cape Town, Feb 25: India quelled a late charge by the South African batsmen to clinch a nail biting seven-run victory in the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I) here on Saturday.

Chasing a target of 173 runs, the Proteas could only manage 165/6 in their 20 overs. India have thus won the three-match series 2-1.

The match came alive in the last seven overs as Jean-Paul Duminy and debutant Christiaan Jonker took the battle to the Indian bowlers.

The hosts were struggling at 79/3 after 13 overs when Duminy and decided to change gears with a 30-run stand which came off just three overs.

Although Duminy fell after scoring 55 runs off 41 deliveries, Jonker continued to trouble the visitors with some superb strokeplay.

Cape Town: Team India pose with the trophy after winning the T20I series 3-1 against South Africa during post match presentation ceremony at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb 24, 2018. (Photo: BCCI/IANS) (Credit Mandatory)
Cape Town: Team India pose with the trophy after winning the T20I series 3-1 against South Africa during post match presentation ceremony at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb 24, 2018. (Photo: BCCI/IANS) (Credit Mandatory)
Cape Town: Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and South African skipper JP Duminy during the 3rd T20I between South Africa and India at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb 24, 2018. (Photo: BCCI/IANS) (Credit Mandatory)
Cape Town: Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and South African skipper JP Duminy during the 3rd T20I between South Africa and India at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb 24, 2018. (Photo: BCCI/IANS) (Credit Mandatory)

Jonker smashed his way to 49 runs off just 24 balls and almost took the hosts to victory before falling off the last ball of the match.

For India, fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up two wickets while Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur and Suresh Raina got a wicket each.

Earlier, India posted a competitive total of 172/7. Rookie South African pacer Junior Dala came up with an excellent performance in what was the second T20I of his fledgling career with figures of 3/35.

Fellow pacer Chris Morris returned 2/43 while left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi also got a wicket.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan was the highest scorer for India with 47 runs off 40 balls. Suresh Raina also batted well, producing a quick fire 43.

The two of them added 65 runs between them off 49 deliveries which provided a strong platform to the visitors’ innings.

Asked to bat first, the Indians started their innings on a promising note with Rohit Sharma smashing two back to back boundaries off Chris Morris in the opening over.

But Dala dismissed him early for the second consecutive match when excellent off the the pitch movement and some poor footwork saw the Indian stand-in captain being trapped leg before in the second over.

Raina brought the innings back on track with a power packed 27-ball innings which included five boundaries and a six. He fell in the 10th over to Shamsi when he failed to clear the long-on boundary and was caught by Farhaan Behardien.

The in-form Manish Pandey did not last long, falling to a short-pitched delivery from Dala which cramped him for space and his mistimed pull holed out to David Miller at long-on.

Dhawan also fell soon after when an accurate throw by Dala from deep mid-wicket caught him short of his crease.

The visitors kept on losing wickets at regular intervals but managed to reach a competitive total.

Brief scores:

South Africa: 165/6 in 20 overs (Jean-Paul Duminy 55, Christiaan Jonker 49; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/24) vs India: 172/7 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 47, Suresh Raina 43; Junior Dala 3/35).