South Africa 227 for 3 (Rossouw 100*, de Kock 68, Umesh 1-34) beat India 178 (Karthik 46, Pretorius 3-26, Maharaj 2-34) by 49 runs
Rilee Rossouw smashed his first T20I century as South Africa put up their fourth-highest total in the format, and India crumbled in their chase of 228. The 49-run reversal was the first defeat in their last 17 chases in T20Is at home.
Rossouw cracked 100* - a score he reached off 48 balls - and added 90 free-flowing runs for the second wicket with Quinton de Kock. That partnership came off just eight overs, and included seven fours and six sixes, most of which were hit in the arc between deep midwicket and fine leg. De Kock hit 68 from 43 deliveries, starting off by flicking Mohammed Siraj for four and six in the second over.
In their reply, India went hard, too, as they had to looking at the target, despite losing Rohit Sharma for a duck to the second ball of the innings. They lost four wickets after only seven overs, but managed to post 78 with exactly as many fours and sixes as Rossouw and de Kock had. In the end, the target proved far too big.
Rossouw and de Kock's redeem themselves
After failing to score a single run in the first two matches of the series, Rossouw started with three dots, before making up rapidly; by the end of the ninth over, he was on 30 off 15 balls, going after each of Siraj, Umesh Yadav and R Ashwin.
He flicked, pulled, swiped and hoicked at will, with neither the fuller lengths nor the shorter ones bothering him. A lot of luck went Rossouw's way, too: first, when on 24, he slog-swept Ashwin, only for the ball to pop out of Siraj's hands and go for six at fine leg.
At the other end, de Kock made up for taking his time in the second T20I in Guwahati, where his 69* from 48 balls hurt South Africa in their chase. He raced to his fifty off 33 balls this time, pulling Umesh over fine leg to get to the landmark. The first ten overs raised 96, as the two raced along.
The partnership ended when de Kock was run-out at the beginning of the 13th over.
India had held back their left-arm spinner Axar Patel until 13 overs with two left-hand batters going gung-ho at the crease, and Rossouw just proved India's fears right by slogging Axar's third ball for six to reach his fifty off 27 balls.
Rossouw then pulled Harshal Patel in the 15th over, with the ball just going over a leaping Umesh at fine leg. In the next over, he bisected long-on and deep midwicket as Deepak Chahar attempted a yorker. The last three overs fetched 50 runs for South Africa, including Tristan Stubbs' cameo of 23 and David Miller's final-over onslaught.
Miller crashed three sixes off Chahar, as South Africa hit 24 off the final over. Their total boosted to 227.
India, thin on batting, fall well short
In the chase, at 4 for 2 after the first ten balls - having lost Rohit and Shreyas Iyer - India promoted Dinesh Karthik, the designated finisher, to No. 4 despite the presence of Suryakumar Yadav [Virat Kohli and KL Rahul had been rested for the game].
He declared his intentions first ball by pulling Wayne Parnell for four to deep midwicket. Next over, Rishabh Pant - who had opened alongside Rohit - hit Kagiso Rabada for four. The early boundaries gave India hope, and the full house at the Holkar Stadium something to cheer about after the Indian bowlers had been carted around earlier.
With only 25 on the board after four overs, Pant went 4, 6, 4, 6 off Lungi Ngidi, before Stubbs' brilliant catch at cover-point sent him back for 27 off 14 balls. India were three down after five overs, with another 183 to get at a required run-rate of over 12.
That's when Karthik brought out his full repertoire of strokes, attacking Parnell for 6, 4, 6 in the final over of the powerplay. He then deposited Keshav Maharaj for consecutive sixes next over, but in an attempt to be too creative, he was bowled trying to reverse scoop the spinner.
An innings of 46 from 21 deliveries came to an end, and with it India's hopes too. Their allrounders were slotted in as early as No. 6, with Axar followed by Harshal, Ashwin and Chahar.
Harshal, Chahar and Umesh entertained with 17, 31 and 20* respectively, but India folded with nine balls left.