CAPE TOWN: Suresh Raina scored a quick-fire 43 and grabbed the key wicket of David Miller as India defeated hosts South Africa by seven runs to claim a 2-1 victory in their Twenty20 International series at Newlands yesterday.
Sent in to bat, India, without injured captain Virat Kohli, posted 172 for seven in their 20 overs before restricting South Africa to 165 for six.
Raina’s runs came from just 27 balls as he caressed five fours and a six, putting on 65 for the second wicket with opener Shikhar Dhawan (47 from 40 balls).
Seamer Junior Dala (3-35) was the pick of the home bowlers as he posted career-best figures.
South Africa made a sluggish start to their reply and were always behind the required run-rate.
Explosive Miller (24 from 23 balls) was elevated to open the batting, but was bogged down by the line of the Indian bowlers and fell to Raina (1-27 in three overs) as he tried to up the tempo.
Only captain JP Duminy (55 from 41 balls) and debutant Christiaan Jonker (49 from 24 balls) were able to muster innings of substance.
South Africa required 19 off the final over bowled by the excellent Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-24), but were restricted to just a single boundary to fall short of their target.
India’s two-month tour of South Africa is now at an end. The home side won the test series 2-1, but were thumped 5-1 in the One-Day Internationals.
South Africa start a four-Test series at home to Australia on Thursday.
Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma said India had not allowed themselves to lose focus after losing the first two Tests before hitting back by winning the third Test and going on to dominate the limited-overs matches.
“We really showed a lot of intensity and played with a lot of aggression. We never backed down in any situation,” said Sharma.