3rd T20I: Suryakumar, Kuldeep propel India to series-leveling victory

NEW DELHI: Captain Suryakumar Yadav‘s extraordinary century and Kuldeep Yadav‘s magical five-wicket haul powered India to a commanding 106-run victory over South Africa in the third and decisive T20 International at Johannesburg on Thursday. This emphatic win not only squared the series but showcased India’s prowess with both bat and ball.
Sent in to bat first, India put forth a formidable total of 201 for seven in their allotted 20 overs.
As it happened: India vs South Africa
The highlight of the innings was Suryakumar’s remarkable century, a scintillating 100 off just 56 balls, adorned with seven fours and eight sixes. Alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal’s fluent 60 off 41, Suryakumar forged a crucial 112-run partnership for the third wicket, rescuing India from a shaky start at 29 for 2.
Suryakumar’s innings reached its crescendo in the latter part, where he unleashed a barrage of shots, including his trademark ‘360’ strokes. His assault included a sensational 22-run over against pacer Andile Phehlukwayo. Despite Suryakumar’s departure, his century laid a solid foundation for India to post a competitive total.

In the second innings, India’s bowlers, spearheaded by left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, exhibited a significantly improved performance.

The Wanderers pitch, undergoing a transformation under lights, offered spin-friendly conditions. Kuldeep’s delivery that dismantled the stumps of Dononvan Ferreira epitomized South Africa’s struggle against high-quality spin.
South Africa’s chase never gained traction, with pacer Mohammed Siraj setting the tone by bowling a maiden over. Early dismissals of captain Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen left South Africa reeling at 42 for four, sealing their fate.
However, the victory was not without concern for India, as Suryakumar rolled his ankle while fielding in the third over of South Africa’s innings. Despite his premature departure from the field, India’s bowlers, including the versatile Ravindra Jadeja, who stood in for the injured captain, dismantled the South African batting lineup.
The comprehensive win sets the stage for the upcoming three-match One-Day International series, with the first match scheduled at the same venue on Sunday.


India will look to carry the momentum into the ODIs and build on their success in the T20 series against South Africa.

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(With inputs from PTI)

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