Indore — South Africa’s Rilee Rossouw on Tuesday called his maiden Twenty20 international century coming against a “world class” India “special” after he helped the tourists to a consolation 49-run win in the third match.
The left-handed Rossouw, who came into his 21st T20 for South Africa on the back of two ducks, made an unbeaten 100 in 48 balls to steer the team to 227-3 after being invited to bat first in Indore.
South African bowlers then combined to bowl out India for 178 in 18.3 overs, but the hosts took the three-match series 2-1 — their first ever against the Proteas at home — after winning the first two matches.
It was the last match for both the teams ahead of the T20 Cup in Australia starting later this month and the 32-year-old Rossouw made it count for the tourists.
“(India are) a world class side, I would say, it (the knock) was special,” man of the match Rossouw said of his ton against the top-ranked T20 team in the world.
“It is something that you dream of as a cricketer, to score a hundred in front of a packed crowd and I am glad I could contribute for the winning side tonight.”
Quinton de Kock, who hit 68 off 43 balls, and Rossouw put on 89 for the second wicket after skipper Temba Bavuma, who got ducks in the two losses, fell for three.
Rossouw survived a dropped catch on 24 by Mohammed Siraj in the deep as the ball popped out of his hands for a six. De Kock made his second successive fifty with a hit over the fence off Umesh Yadav.
The pair hit eight sixes between them before the partnership ended with De Kock’s run out in his attempt to steal a second run.
India’s bowling woes
Rossouw, who hit eight sixes, then got going with Tristan Stubbs in another big partnership of 87 and surpassed his previous best of 96 not out to reach his hundred in 48 balls.
Stubbs, who was warned by pace bowler Deepak Chahar for backing up too far at the non-striker’s end when on 13, made 23.
Rossouw finished unbeaten and David Miller, who hit a 100 in the second T20, smacked three straight sixes in the final over from Chahar to score an unbeaten 19 off five balls.
India captain Rohit Sharma said bowling remains one of the things to be worked upon before heading into the Cup Down under.
“Areas of concerns, we have to look at our bowling, what more options we can find in the powerplay, middle and death,” said Rohit whose side also beat Australia 2-1 in a three-match T20 series last month.
“We were playing two quality sides, (we) have to go back and see what we can do better. It will be challenging and we need to find answers, still working towards that.”
India’s chase started badly as they lost two early wickets including Rohit for a duck after the opener got an inside edge on to his stumps from pace bowler Kagiso Rabada.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant (27) and Dinesh Karthik (46) attempted to revive the chase in an attacking partnership of 41 off 20 balls.
Pant got out after hitting three fours and two sixes in his 14-ball knock, but Karthik kept up the charge.
Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj denied Karthik his fifty after the batsman attempted a reverse scoop only to be bowled.
The rest of the batting, which missed Virat Kohli and KL Rahul who were rested, failed to challenge the bowlers apart from Chahar who made a valiant 31 of 17 balls.
Fast bowler Dwaine Pretorius, who came in for the rested Anrich Nortje, stood out with figures of 3-26 in his 3.3 overs.