Dinesh Karthik must be loving life right now. The veteran Indian wicket-beater keeper played a sublime 55-run 27-ball run to not only score his first-ever fifty for India in T20I cricket, but he also passed MS Dhoni to achieve a huge personal milestone.
DK led from the front as India recorded a whopping 82-point win over South Africa to level in the current five-game T20I series, with the series decider scheduled for Sunday.
After helping Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) reach the IPL 2022 playoffs, the 37-year-old’s superb form helped him seal a return to the Indian side, and now he’s winning games for India again .
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The mid-tier batsman made his T20I debut 16 years ago when India faced South Africa (coincidentally) for the first time in a T20I match. In the 35 T20I games since, DK have failed to score a half-century, but that long wait came to an end on Friday as their fifty helped turn the tide in India’s favour.
And in the process, Dinesh Karthik also took a huge personal step by overtaking MS Dhoni to become the oldest Indian player to score fifty in T20I cricket.
Moreover, what will please Indian coaches more is that Karthik’s blow came at a time when India were in shock at 81-4. In a contest India had to win at all costs to stay alive on the show, DK came out at bat after skipper Rishabh Pant was fired and he battled with vice-captain Hardik Pandya to lethal effect.
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India were 95/4 after 15 overs but recorded a 169 goal, thanks to big shots from DK and Pandya, who racked up a stand 65, with Karthik hitting nine fours and two sixes en route to his fifty .
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— BCCI (@BCCI) June 18, 2022
At 37 years and 16 days, Dinesh Karthik became the oldest Indian to score a fifty in T20I, with MS Dhoni holding the previous record, having recorded their second T20I fifty against South Africa themselves, in 2018.
The fifth and final game of the series between India and South Africa will be played at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday with the series even at 2-2.