In the fourth T20 against South Africa, the Indian team was invited to bat first after losing the toss. The team lost two wickets for 40 runs in the powerplay itself and had only 56 runs for three wickets in 10 overs in their account. Two finishers of the team came in handy on such an occasion. Dinesh Karthik (55 runs, 27 balls) and Hardik Pandya (46 runs, 31 balls) played well with the bat and the team managed to reach a challenging score of 169 for six.
In the match, Karthik came to the crease in the 13th over. At that time India had 81 runs for four wickets. Hardik was playing 25 runs off 20 balls. Played carefully till the 15th over of both the innings. Hardik had once narrowly escaped. Both opened their hands from the 16th over bowled by Anrich Nortje. When Karthik hit two fours in this over, Hardik also did not lag behind. 13 runs came from the last over of Keshav Maharaj’s quota, bowling very economical so far.
Karthik wreaked havoc in the 18th over by Dwayne Pretorius. Changing his maneuvers at the crease, he hit 6, 4, 4 off three consecutive balls of Pretorius. 16, 13, 16 runs came from the last 3 overs. Karthik completed his fifty in 26 balls, scoring runs at a strike rate of 200. He completed 50 runs by hitting a six off a ball from Pretorius. However, he got out in the process of blowing the next ball in the air again. There was a fast-paced 65-run partnership between Hardik and Karthik.
With this, a special record was also recorded in the name of Dinesh Karthik. Karthik became the oldest cricketer to score fifty in T20 Internationals for India. He did this at the age of 37 years and 16 days. Interestingly, Karthik also played in India’s first T20 International match. That match was played in Johannesburg on 1 December 2006. In that match against South Africa, Karthik won the Player of the Match award by scoring 31 not out in 28 balls.
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