Veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik once again gave a glimpse of why he has been back into international cricket after a space of three year. In just 27 balls, the 36-year-old smashed 55 runs against South Africa in the fourth T20I match in Rajkot as India clobbered 73 runs in the slog overs to finish with a match-winning total of 169 for eight. In awe of his blitzkrieg knock, star South Africa bowler Keshav Maharaj explained why Karthik has been the most difficult batter to bowl to in the series.
During his rampage in the slog overs in Rajkot on Friday, Karthik smashed Maharaj for three boundaries in four balls in the 17th over of the innings. Maharaj later hailed him as "one of the best finishers" in the game.
"He (Karthik) has been in serious form in the role he is fulfilling. He is certainly one of the best finishers in the game. He scores in unorthodox areas which makes him difficult to bowl to. We saw why he was one of the leading performers in the IPL. He showed his class today and played exceptionally well," he said after the match.
Karthik's stupendous knock helped Indian beat South Africa by 82 runs. Avesh Khan was the star bowler for India in the second innings of the game with his 4 for 18.
With the win in the must-win match, India have now forced a decider which will be played in Bengaluru on Sunday.
"We had a bit of momentum in the first two and India got in the next two. It makes it that much more exciting to go to Bangalore, the crowds have been amazing so far, it will add to the excitement. Also it is a good test for our cricket team to see how far we have come to play in events like these and try and clinch the series against a strong Indian outfit," Maharaj said.