Dinesh Karthik proved to be India’s hero once again as the hosts beat South Africa by 82 points in the penultimate 4th T20I to tie the five-game series 2-2. Riding Karthik’s sensational fifty, India then posted a bout total of 169 runs on the board at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium in Rajkot before grouping the visitors for a measly 87 to win the match overall.
Invited to bat first in the match, India were in trouble after losing their front three – Ruturaj Gaikwad (5), Ishan Kishan (27) and Shreyas Iyer (4) to lower cost in the first seven overs. Captain Rishabh Pant then teamed up with Hardik Pandya to steady the ship and add 41 runs for the 4th wicket.
However, he too went cheap on 17 from 23 balls before Karthik got to the crease. The veteran hitter continued his purple spot with the willow and slammed a brilliant 55-point shot on just 27 balls. His quick hit was 9 fours and 2 sixes as Karthik added a 65-run support for the fifth wicket with Hardik (46).
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It was a sensational shot from the in-form Karthik, who took 13 points off the 17th beaten by Keshav Maharaj before smashing a straight six and two fours in the 18th by Dwaine Pretorious for 16 points. With his fifty victories, Karthik broke MS Dhoni’s record in T20I.
Karthik has now become the oldest Indian striker to score in half a century in T20I. Karthik at 37 years and 16 days is the oldest to achieve the feat leaving behind Dhoni, who previously held the record for his fifty years in a T20I against South Africa in 2018.
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Karthik has so far scored 92 points in the ongoing T20I series against South Africa at home and bolstered his selection record in India’s T20 World Cup 2022 squad with his finishing cameos in the lower middle order.
After a phenomenal 2022 IPL as a finisher for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Karthik continued where he left in the ongoing series in South Africa and justified the confidence placed in him by the selectors. The veteran batsman hopes to end the series on a high when India take on South Africa in the deciding 5th T20I of the series on Sunday.
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Post expires at 8:04am on Tuesday June 28th, 2022