India defeat S Africa in 4th T20I, level series 2-2

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Dinesh Karthik hit 55 off 27 deliveries to record his maiden T20I fifty before Avesh Khan picked up four wickets to level the match series 2-2 against visitors South Africa at Rajkot.

Put in to bat first, the hosts reached 169/6 in 20 overs in the fourth T20 International. Chasing 170 for the win, Proteas managed to reach only 87 for nine in 16.5 overs with Temba Bavuma retiring hurt.

India gathered just 56 runs in the first 10 overs before Karthik (55 off 27) scored his maiden fifty close to 16 years after his T20 debut and alongside vice-captain Hardik Pandya (46 off 31 ) took India to a fighting 169 for six. Kartik gathered 55 off just 27 deliveries, hitting nine fours and two sixes en route to the fifty mark.

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For the second game in a row, South African batters faltered and collapsed to 87 for nine in 16.5 overs with skipper Temba Bavuma retired hurt.

Avesh (4/18) led India’s brilliant display with the ball and recorded his career-best figures in the process. It was an away team’s lowest total in T20 Internationals in India.

The sides will next head to Bengaluru for the deciding fifth T20 on Sunday.

SA captain Bavuma won the toss and elected to bowl against unchanged India. South Africa made three changes, replacing Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell and Reeza Hendricks with Marco Jansen, a fit-again Quinton de Kock, and Lungi Ngidi.

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India, on the other hand, opted for an unchanged side. After outwitting India in the first two games, the Proteas were at the receiving end in the third match and eventually faced a defeat. Led by Rishabh Pant, the hosts made a stellar comeback in the series after being down 2-0 and clinched the 3rd T20I game at Vizag by 48 runs.