Dinesh Karthik‘s maiden T20I half-century followed by a dominating bowling display helped India bulldoze South Africa in the 4th T20I to level the series on Friday.

Put to bat first, the hosts were in a spot of bother after losing four wickets for 81 runs in 12.5 overs. Before the Proteas could capitalise further, Hardik Pandya and Karthik paired up to bail India out of trouble.

The experienced batting duo formed a crucial partnership of 65 runs for the fifth wicket to bring back the home team into the game. Pandya fell short of 4 runs from what could be a defining fifty, but Karthik made sure he cashed in the opportunity.

The Tamil Nadu cricketer smashed his maiden half-century in the shortest format. Karthik smoked a quickfire 55 from 27 deliveries with the help of 11 boundaries, including a couple of sixes, to assist India post 169/6 in 20 overs.

In response, the visitors got bundled out for a mere 87, losing the contest by a huge margin of 82 runs. It was the lowest total for the South Africans in T20Is and the biggest victory by runs for ‘Men in Blue’ against the rainbow nation.

Avesh Khan was the pick of the bowler for India, taking a brilliant 4-wicket haul for just 18 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Yuzvendra Chahal also shined with the ball, bagging a couple of scalps.

Biggest win by runs for India vs SA in T20Is:

82 runs Rajkot 2022
48 runs Vizag 2022
37 runs Durban 2007

Here is how Twitter reacted:

DK today in the first half.
And Avesh whose place was questioned after being wicketless in the first three matches.
Winning in style -Team India. #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/VOJix6A8sh

— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 17, 2022

2️⃣-2️⃣✌️#INDvSA pic.twitter.com/pQ0TN7XuMf

— DK (@DineshKarthik) June 17, 2022

Terrific fightback from team India to level the series. Credit to Rishabh and Rahul Bhai for sticking with the same team throughout despite couple of losses at the start. Avesh repaid the faith and how! Super Sunday ahead! #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/jHCSUsFnNZ

— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 17, 2022

Massive win 🇮🇳 My Dino, you superstar 👏 Bengaluru up next. pic.twitter.com/GmNRCSU1Ak

— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) June 17, 2022

Solid win 🇮🇳 All to play for in Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/PboDzYE0nw

— Ishan Kishan (@ishankishan51) June 17, 2022

Dinesh Karthik is an absolute weapon at the crease 🔥 #INDvSA

— Chloe-Amanda Bailey (@ChloeAmandaB) June 17, 2022

With Rohit, KL, Virat set to return, top order gets sorted. India were looking for finisher. Ek maango, do mil gaye. Hardik and DK aap Australia World Cup ja rahe hain. @DineshKarthik @hardikpandya7

— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) June 17, 2022

Dinesh Karthik the finisher went to work today I see. Happy for him. And great to see Avesh Khan amongst the wickets. Things squared up in India. Nice series.

— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) June 17, 2022

Life in full circle

2006: Dinesh Karthik wins Player of the Match award in India’s first T20 v SA

2022: Dinesh Karthik wins Player of the Match v SA

— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) June 17, 2022

Khan you feel the 🔥? The 🇮🇳 Blues are back! 🥳#INDvSA #WhistlePodu #Yellove 🦁💛
📸 : @BCCI pic.twitter.com/OpyjBMPc9X

— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) June 17, 2022

MOM in India’s first ever T20 international .. 16 years later gets his maiden fifty against the same side. Special knock this .. Something different, something fresh.. Living upto the promise he made at the IPL .. Well done @DineshKarthik #INDvSA

— Jatin Sapru (@jatinsapru) June 17, 2022

India level the series 💪

A brilliant performance from the hosts as they register a comprehensive win in the fourth T20I! #INDvSA pic.twitter.com/eZFSajuLvU

— ICC (@ICC) June 17, 2022

𝐃𝐊 – 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫!#OneFamily #INDvSA @DineshKarthik @BCCI pic.twitter.com/6L0WuTP7AZ

— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) June 17, 2022

55(27) for DK. Playing on a different planet. He just gets T20. And nobody plays that role better than he does in this Indian set-up.

— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 17, 2022

What a superb comeback after the initial setbacks! 👏🏻 A fantastic bowling display by our bowlers led by Avesh 🔥 Keep the momentum going boys. Let’s get it done in Bengaluru! 🏆 #INDvSA

— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) June 17, 2022

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