Rajkot, June 18: After losing the first two games in the five-match T20I series against South Africa, India made a strong comeback after winning two consecutive matches to draw 2-2. Dinesh Karthik’s scintillating half-century in Rajkot helped India win the match by a huge margin of 82 runs.
South Africa were bundled out inside 17 overs as India restricted the Proteas to just 87 runs. Despite not bowling much in the series, Avesh Khan, who was getting the bulk of the opportunities this time, did his best for India this time, taking four wickets for just 18 runs from his allotted four overs.
It was the fast bowler’s best performance for India and it came at a crucial time, when his country needed it the most.
Dinesh Karthik – India’s all-time finisher; From 31 not out in 2006 to 55 in 2022
Speaking after the game, Avesh dedicated his performance to his father, who celebrated his birthday on 17 June, and said that his bowling plan was simple – he wanted to bowl as straight as he could.
“I am happy. It is my father’s birthday and I want to dedicate it to him. The plan was to bowl straight and stump-to-stump,” Avesh said.
A wicket that helped the pacers immensely, Avesh took advantage of the bounce to hit Marco Jensen on the grille of the helmet and continued to trouble the batsmen with his variations. He thanked his captain Rishabh Pant for the wickets, saying that he only listened to his captain.
Avesh said, “After getting a chance, I sent it back to fine leg. I followed Rishabh with the cutter after a hard length ball. Our fielding and bowling are getting good and our aim is to improve in the next match We will give it 100%.”
The right-arm pacer, however, was not adjudged the man of the match. But Dinesh Karthik was given this award for making fast innings. India will take on South Africa in the final match on 19 June in Bengaluru.
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Story first published: Saturday, June 18, 2022, 9:25 [IST]