RANCHI: With most of his much-imagined and illustrious teammates from India busy warming up in Perth ahead of the upcoming T20 Down Under World Cup, home boy Ishan Kishan took the opportunity to monopolize the limelight at the JSCA International Stadium lit up here on Sunday.
Chasing 279 on a slightly slower track, but without any demons, the southpaw started patiently and, once set, took the aggressive route, leading to 93 out of 84 balls with four limits and seven sixes.
Shreya Iyer picked up where he left off in the last game (50) and played the role of conductor to perfection to bring India home with a seven-wicket series-level win with 25 balls in reserve. In the process, the Mumbai cricketer marked his second century ODI. It was his fifth score of over 50 in the last six ODI innings.
The captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders slammed 15 fours during his jab. Together with the Patna-born wicketkeeper batsman, Iyer stitched a 161-point stand – out of 155 balls – for the third wicket to stabilize the ship for India, which had dropped to 48 for two in 8.5 over.
Skipper Shikhar Dhawan played a reckless shot going down the crease losing the stump out of the rhythm of Wayne Parnell’s left arm. Shubman Gill played an easy-going 28 shot before being unlucky to offer a low hold for the pace Kagis Rabadawhich fell in a flash to take advantage of the opportunity in its sequel.
From that point on, it was the Iyer-Kishan show. Both made sure there were no further hiccups in the chase and although Kishan had only dropped seven points before his first international hundred, India came home easily when Sanju Samson joined the party.
Previously, Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks scored constant half a century to mend a 129 run-a-ball position for third wicket together when South Africa reached 278/7 in 50 overs.
Criticized for their death at bowling in the past two weeks, Indian bowlers led by Mohammed Siraj did a great job of preventing visitors from exceeding the 300 run mark. With 3-38 out of 10 overs, Siraj was easily the choice of Indian bowlers.
Shardul Thakur he also threw tight lines to help Siraj and the Proteas could only score 57 points for losing two wickets in their last 10 overs. India was also helped by a poor selection of hits from visitors. Markram and Hendricks joined forces when South Africa was 40/2 after the first mandatory Powerplay and built a substantial partnership before Hendricks returned by failing to cross the deep square leg boundary off Siraj, with the all-rounder rookie Shahbaz Ahmed holding on to a neat grip.
Henrich Klaasen he started quickly and ran 26 balls 30 with two sixes and fours each. However, a soft ejection – trying to go backhand on a fake out of Kuldeep Yadav, led to a good hold by Siraj. Two balls later, in the next over thrown by Washington Sundar, Markram went off and failed to clear Dhawan in extra cover as he tried to hit the spinner.
David Miller in form seemed to be in good contact again but could not find the extra gear as the Proteas had fallen by at least 20 points.