Kuldeep Yadav’s terrific 4-wicket haul in the third and final Mastercard ODI against South Africa led Indian youngsters to an excellent 7-wicket win at Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi on Tuesday. Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian side was actually a second-string Indian team competing against a full-strength South African team and yet they won the series 2-1. An outstanding performance of the Indian bowling line-up restricted the Proteas to 99 in just 27.1 overs. With a low target to chase, the young Indian batters reached 105 in 19.1 overs, losing only 3 wickets.
By winning the toss, Shikhar Dhawan sent the Proteas to bat first. The game was won by India in the first innings itself as the bowlers demolished the South African batters easily. The spinners were in action here. Kuldeep Yadav was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 4 wickets with a loss of 18 runs in 4.1 overs.
Kuldeep Yadav was India’s first-choice spinner three years back. But injuries and form had pushed Yadav down to the reserve side. He just came back after an injury and on Tuesday at Delhi, he made his comeback by wiping out the lower half of the South African batting. Yadav’s craft and style always troubled the South Africans. For his terrific wicket haul, Yadav bagged the Player-of-the-match award.
“Feeling very happy, to be honest. Getting the Player of the Match award, the wicket was perfect and I am enjoying my bowling. I am trying to bowl in good areas. Not thinking too much, my next target is to perform well in Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament.” Kuldeep Yadav reacted during the post-match presentation.
Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, and Mohammed Siraj claimed two wickets each.
The pitch was overloaded with moister having been under covers for the better part of the past week due to rain. Washington Sundar started the proceedings and with his 11th ball, he beat Quinton de Kock and it was just a start. Sundar once again proved why he has been one of the most consistent spinners in the new ball with a spell of 2/15 in four overs.
Siraj put on an impressive performance throughout the series and bagged the Player-of-the-series award. It is the first time in ODIs that he had won the award. He has claimed 5 wickets at 20.80 runs apiece in three matches. He has continued his form bowling in a tight aggressive line.
Heinrich Klaasen was the only batter who scored freely and the rest was dismissed cheaply and without reaching the 100-run mark. Klaasen has scored 34 runs off 42 balls. Janneman Malan (15/27) and Marco Jansen (14/19) somehow managed to add some runs. Others have not even crossed 2 figures.
The Indian batters started the run chase looking solid and scoring boundaries at regular intervals. Shikhar Dhawan and Shubhman Gill started the race, but Dhawan went out early. They had put on a 42-run opening partnership then. Gill remained strong and effortlessly, scoring 49 runs off 57 balls. Ishan Kishan couldn’t create an impact this time. Then Shreyas Iyer came to the rescue and joined forces with Gill to take their team close to the finish line. But just a run away from a half-century, Gill’s gorgeous stroke-play was ended by Lungi Ngidi. Vice-captain Iyer has finished off the game in style with 30.5 overs to spare.
It was a stunning win for India’s reserve side. “I am proud of the boys, the way they played in the series. The way they carried the responsibility and showed maturity. We showed a lot of character in the first game, we dropped a few catches, but we never really put pressure on ourselves.” Dhawan said after the match.
South Africa wants to win the series 3-0 to stay in the hunt of directly qualifying for the ODI World Cup next year. But they lost their hope in the last game itself. “It was very tough. Didn’t help scoring just 99. Disappointing result today, to finish off the series in that way. We just need to extend the good periods when it comes to ODIs.” David Miller reacted. South Africa’s total is their lowest against India in ODIs.
The South Africa tour of India ends here. Now, let’s see both teams in the Mega Event in Australia.
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