New Delhi, 11th Oct 2022: Kuldeep took 4 for 18, with Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Ahmed scalped two each, as India bundled out South Africa for 99.
Brief Score: India 105 for 3 (Gill 49, Iyer 28*, Fortuin 1-20) beat South Africa 99 (Klaasen 34, Kuldeep 4-18, Washington 2-15) by seven wickets
India thrashed South Africa in Delhi to win the ODI series for the fifth time in a row. Their spinners combined to dismiss South Africa for 99, the fourth-lowest total in ODI history and their lowest total against them, in just 28 overs. Eight wickets were split by the three spinners Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, and Kuldeep Yadav, with Kuldeep completing his third four-for against South Africa.
With a four-for, Kuldeep Yadav helped India’s spinners destroy South Africa for a meagre 99, paving the door for the hosts’ seven-wicket victory in Tuesday’s series-deciding game in Delhi. As the visitors were dismissed for their lowest ever ODI total against India, Kuldeep (4/18), Washington Sundar (2/15), and Shahbaz Ahmed (2/32) of India took eight of the ten wickets, with Mohammed Siraj claiming the other two for just 17. This left little room for doubt regarding the outcome of the game and series.
The modest 100-run target was successfully chased down by the in-form Shreyas Iyer on the first delivery of the 20th over after being led by opener Shubhman Gill, who almost missed reaching fifty.
India’s skipper Skipper Shikhar was forced to go cheaply for just 8 because there was an early communication breakdown. However, Gill’s strong pulls and precisely timed drives kept India on course. Iyer started the late pyrotechnics immediately after the hosts ended the powerplay with a significant 53/1 on the board. He started off by smacking a fortunate six from Anrich Nortje, which would have otherwise signalled the end of his stay, and then he blasted two fours right past the bowler. India lost Gill on 49 after Lungi Ngidi hit him in front of the stumps, leaving them three runs from victory. To finish the formalities, Iyer, however, smoked Marco Jansen into the audience.
The toss was postponed by 45 minutes earlier in the day because the outfield was damp. Due to the pitch being covered up due to the national capital’s ongoing rains in the days preceding up to the game, moisture was retained. As a result, winning the toss was essential, and Dhawan had no qualms about putting South Africa in on a pitch that was also gripping. The visitors, on the other hand, were had to take a break when three of their starting players—Temba Bavuma, Keshav Maharaj, and Tabraiz Shamsi—fell unwell.
However, the David-Miller-led team never really got started, significantly hurting their chances of securing automatic qualification for the World Cup. Quinton de Kock top-edged to backward point after slashing when he noticed the available width in Sundar’s opening bowling performance. At the other end, Siraj was costly initially, giving Janneman Malan three boundaries, but he also came back with aplomb to bounce him the and in-from Reeza Hendricks in back-to-back overs.
From that point on, the spinners seized control. Heinrich Klaasen and Adien Markram had just begun to score runs when Shahbaz induced the former into a drive with a delivery that was flung up, dipped on him, spun, and kissed the edge of the bat on its way to the keeper. After scoring a run-a-ball 7, Sundar came back and clean bowled the South African interim skipper through the gate.
Kuldeep entered the assault just in the 20th over, but he quickly dispatched the visitors in little under 28 overs by starting a disastrous lower-order collapse. He used googlies that the batters failed to read to strike out Andile Phehlukwayo and Nortje, while Bjorn Fortuin walked after getting trapped LBW plumb. The wristspinner picked up his fourth wicket when Marco Jansen attempted an adventurous slog-sweep only to find a waiting Avesh Khan at deep square. Ngidi did well to handle the hat-trick delivery.
In all of this, only Klaasen appeared at ease batting against India’s slower spinners. The constant wicket procession at the other end prevented him from engaging the bowling as freely as the visitors had intended, so his fleeting resistance didn’t amount to much. He led the team in scoring with 34 points off of 42, but a one-man effort was never going to be enough to save a series loss.