It was a clinical win from the Indian team under the captaincy of Shikhar Dhawan as they bounced back in the three-match series to level it at 1-1 following an impressive 7-wicket win in Ranchi against South Africa. 278 was a tricky target to chase, but South Africa did see a glimmer of hope when both Shikhar Dhawan and Shubman Gill departed inside the powerplay. However, a match-winning partnership between Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan made the chase easy for India as they wrapped up with 4.1 overs to spare.
After the match, India’s stand-in captain, Shikhar Dhawan, in his unique way, credited South Africa’s stand-in skipper Keshav Maharaj for the win, leaving former India cricketer and presenter Murali Kartik in splits. South Africa would have wanted to score 310 or more runs on that pitch, but besides the spectacular 161-run stand between Iyer and Ishan, India was also aided by the dew factor during the chase which Dhawan had mentioned at the time of toss and once again reminded that in a rather cheeky fashion.
At the end of the game, Murali Kartik, who was the presenter for the post-match ceremony, said, “Shikhar, you wanted to do something different and it worked perfectly well for you at toss.” Shikhar Dhawan replied saying, “Worked perfectly well for us, thanks to Keshav that he chose to bat. Glad that dew came in at the right time.” And the two immediately burst into laughter.
However, Shikhar Dhawan did credit Iyer and Ishan for their effort. While the southpaw fell seven runs short of his maiden ODI hundred, Iyer scored his second in his career en route to his unbeaten 113.
Shikhar Dhawan elaborated, “Ishan and Shreyas batted so well, that partnership was so nice to watch. It was coming on nicely, but it stayed low. Plan was to take on the bowlers in the first 10 overs as we knew it could get difficult in the middle overs. When the dew came, you could see that it got easier.”
The three-match series is currently locked 1-1 with the final ODI set to be played in New Delhi on October 12.