Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan starred with the bat but it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who again held his nerve in the end as India sealed the T20I series with a sensational 2-1 win over South Africa in Cape Town.
India suffered an early blow after in-form Virat Kohli was ruled out due to a stiff back. Stand in skipper Rohit Sharma again departed early, but then Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan made most of some ordinary South African bowling.
Raina counter-attacked but Dhawan played the anchor role with perfection. In fact, Dhawan got his first boundary off the 29th ball but scored an 47 off 40. He was given two chances, with Shamsi dropping a couple of sitters.
Southpaw Raina scored a quickfire 43 off just 27 balls, Pandya(21) and Karthik (13) chipped in with the runs towards the end as India finished their innings at 172/7.
South Africa bowled well in patches with Junior Dala again impressive with his raw pace, as he picked up 3/35 in his 4 overs.
Morris came back strongly after an ordinary start to finish with figures of 2/43.
South Africa never really got into the chase as they got off to a horrendous start, loosing in-form Reeza Hendricks early. Miller – who opened the innings for the first time in T20Is – looked lackluster, failing to find boundaries as the home team struggled to get any momentum.
Hero of the previous match Klaasen couldn’t contribute much either as he departed for 7.
Duminy waged a lone battle for South Africa, scoring 55 off just 41 balls, including hitting Axar Patel for 16 off 1 over.
India used the slower balls to perfection and Suresh Raina chipped in with 3 overs, giving away only 27 runs.
Just when it seemed India would coast home to victory, debutant Christiaan Jonker played a blinder which almost took his team in sight of victory.
South Africa managed to get 45 runs from the three overs preceding the final one, meaning they required 19 off the final over.
Despite giving away a boundary, Bhuvneshwar Kumar held his nerve as India went onto win by 7 runs, with Jonker’s 24-ball 49 going in vain.
Suresh Raina was named man-of-the match for his all round effort while Bhuvneshwar Kumar walked away with the man-of-the-series trophy.