India lost the toss and was put to bat first with Rohit Sharma taking the reins of the team after Virat Kohli was ruled out of the decider with a back injury. Dinesh Karthik was brought in to replace the injured skipper while Axar Patel was given a go for the first time on the tour.

Junior Dala stops India's ascent to a huge total

Chris Morris started the proceedings for the Proteas with the ball but was unable to replicate his performance from the last game, giving away 13 runs as opposed to a maiden first over in the second T20I. However, Junior Dala pulled things back for the hosts, catching skipper Rohit Sharma plumb in front of the wickets.

But the incoming Suresh Raina was all set to take on the South African bowlers and hit Dala for a six on the very first delivery he faced and continued to keep the hosts on their toes. Raina continued to spearhead India’s attack on the Proteas and was aided by some poor bowling and fielding from the opposition as India finished the powerplay with 57/1 on the board.

While Raina looked comfortable on the pitch Shikhar Dhawan was finding runs hard to come by on the other end and struggled to find his rhythm as India continued to score over 9 runs per an over. South African skipper JP Duminy and wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi then took on the challenge to bring down the scoring rate and did the job wonderfully, choking the Indian batsmen for runs.

The brief drought of boundaries eventually led to the dangerous-looking Raina’s dismissal and the visitors reached the halfway mark of the innings with the scoreboard showing 81/2.

The hosts continued to tighten the noose on the Indian innings sending Manish Pandey and Shikhar Dhawan back to the pavilion in quick succession as India’s scoring rate fell below 8.50 runs per over.

MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya were then burdened with the responsibility of taking India to a fighting total with the series on the line. Dala continued his splendid run in the series and got rid of Dhoni to put India in a spot of bother. However, Karthik’s 6 ball 13-run cameo ensured that India would finish with 172/7 on the board.

Indian bowlers seal the series for the men in blue

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah gave India a perfect start, bowling brilliantly to restrict the hosts to a paltry score of 8/0 after two overs. The piling pressure eventually paved the way for Reeza Hendricks’ wicket who fell victim to a spectacular knuckleball from Bhuvneshwar. The Proteas found boundaries hard to come by thanks to some sensational bowling and fielding by the visitors which saw the hosts finishing the first six overs with just 25 runs on the board.

The South African duo of David Miller and JP Duminy struggled to find answers to India’s sensational bowling, resulting in the required run rate creeping up to over eleven runs an over.

Miller was finally put out of his misery by Raina who lured the South African to hit the ball straight into the hands of the fielder. The wicket meant that the match drifted further away from the hosts’ grasp who now required 115 runs off the last nine overs.

With the run rate creeping up, South Africa needed some power hitting to survive in the game, and it was none other than skipper Duminy who took charge of the Proteas innings, smashing Axar Patel for 16 runs in his first over. However, the skipper received no support from the other end as Klassen was dismissed for a meager seven runs. The wicket left the hosts with the uphill task of scoring 93 runs off the last seven overs at over 13 runs an over.

On the other hand, Duminy continued to battle single-handedly against India and brought on a well-deserved half-century in the process, keeping the South African fans’ hopes alive. However, the South African skipper’s resilience finally came to an end when he spooned a Shradul Thakur delivery into the hands of his Indian counterpart. Duminy’s wicket left the hosts needing 53 runs off the last three and it looked as if the game was being played as a formality. However, Christiaan Jonker turned the tables on India when the debutant smashed 18 runs in the 18th over to keep the hosts alive in the game.

Jonker’s onslaught left the hosts needing 19 runs off the last over and it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar who was given the responsibility to guide India to win the match and the series. The Indian pacer gave away nine runs in the first four deliveries but clawed his way back with some spectacular bowling, sealing a seven-run victory for India.