Hello and welcome to Sportstar's HIGHLIGHTS of the fifth and final T20I between India and South Africa from the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

PLAYER OF THE SERIES: Bhuvneshwar Kumar . "Really proud. Body feels good, but I don't want to talk much about it. [I] just want to focus on getting stronger physically and my bowling. Most of the time I bowl two at the top and two at the end. Being a senior, I think about how to help the youngsters.

INDIA CAPTAIN: Rishabh Pant: There are a lot of positives. The way the team showed character from 0-2 down was a huge positive. We are in a nice spot as we are finding different ways to win the game. I can only think about giving my 100% as a player and captain.

SOUTH AFRICA CAPTAIN: Keshav Maharaj: Very disappointed we didn't get a full game for the end of an exciting tour. We tried a few combinations. [The team] is still a work in progress for Australia. You may still see changes. I am sure the future series against India will be interesting, like this one. We carried our confidence from the past tours and at the same time we didn't want to take anything for granted.

Podcast |Listen to the latest edition of our weekly cricket podcast - Matchpoint Paradox where we discuss the selection conundrums this series poses for the Indian thinktank as it moves towards yet another World tournament.


21:44 IST: The news is not good. Play has been called off officially and the series ends tied at 2-2. A disappointing end to what promised to be a tantalising series-decider with the series poised at 2-2. India will take heart from the way it fought back from 0-2 down and from Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya's flourishes towards the end of the innings. The openers - Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad - also gave some steady starts and Bhuvneshwar Kumar found his mojo with the new ball. The spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel impressed in the last two games as India emerged a well-rounded unit from this series. Rishabh Pant's form and his vulnerability wide outside off remains to be the only cause for concern for the Men in Blue.


21:32 IST: Play can resume, at the latest, by 10:02 PM IST , say the umpires, who reiterate that the rain has to stop completely for play to be possible.

Here is what our correspondent at the venue has to say. The Bangalore continues to amuse, with people staying a kilometre away from the ground saying that there is no rain in the vicinity.


20:20 IST: The rain is continuing to come down at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, although it is not as severe as it was at the time of the interruption.

IND 28/2 in 3.3 overs: Ngidi continues. Slower one on off-stump, Gaikwad gets a leading edge behind point and hares for two. OUT! Slower one again does this trick. This is pitched fuller around off-stump, Gaikwad looks to go big down the ground but ends up lobbing it to the mid-on fielder. Ruturaj Gaikwad c Dwaine Pretorius b Lungi Ngidi 10(12b 1x4). On a length down legs-ode and Pant collects a single by clipping it away. And the rain has returned and there is another interruption in play. The covers are out as well.

IND 25/1 in 3 overs: Rabada with the ball. On a length, angling in from just outside off and Gaikwad gets on top of the bounce to defend it back to the bowler. Three dots to start with as Rabada keeps it on back-of-a-length. FOUR! Short and Gaikwad pulls this away to the mid-wicket boudary. Opens the face next ball to a slower one for a single at third man. Shreyas Iyer drives down the ground for a dot.

IND 20/1 in 2 overs: Lungi Ngidi from the other end. Fullish outside off and Gaikwad defends it back. Length ball outside off and Gaikwad gets one driving through the covers off the frontfoot. Straying down leg-side, Kishan misses the flick and one leg-bye. Beaten! Slower one outside off and Gaikwad is beaten on the drive. Tucked away on leg-side for one more. Angling down leg side again, this is wider, and called wide as Kishan misses the pull. OUT! Bowled him! Slower one, just dips in front of Kishan on off-stump line. His is too early into the drive and the ball flattens the off-stump. Ishan Kishan b Lungi Ngidi 15(7b 2x6).

IND 16/0 in 1 over: Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad are in the middle. Kishan is marking his guard. Keshav Maharaj - the stand-in skipper - will open the bowling. Full outside off to Kishan first ball and he taps it gently on the off. SIX! Second ball six. Tossed up and Kishan gets on one knee and slog sweeps this over mid-wicket. SIX! Rinse and repeat! Similar delivery and same result. Slog swept again over mid-wicket for six more. Slashed over point for two more next ball. Shorter this one and Kishan doesn't time the pull and just one at deep mid-wicket. Gaikwad on strike. Full on the pads and clipped on leg-side for one.

The South Africans are in a huddle for the second time in less than an hour. The batters make their way to the middle again. The umpires walk out too.

19:26 IST: The match will begin at 7:50 PM IST after the rain delay. Play has been reduced to 19 overs per side.

19:20 IST: The news only keeps getting better. The covers are coming off and looks that it was just a passing shower that held up the start of play. Live action anytime now!

19:18 IST: The latest from the middle is that the rain has stopped and the super-soppers are at work. Play should start soon.

19:04 IST: It is raining heavily now at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and the covers are out on the ground. However, spectators can breathe easy knowing that the vacuum-powered suction system can get the ground ready for action 15 minutes after the rain stops.

IND 0/0 IN 0.0 OVERS: The South African team is in a huddle. Gaikwad and Kishan are out to open the innings. A slight drizzle has delayed the start of the match. The covers are out too.

Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad will have their task cut out with Kagiso Rabada back in the fray. We are 10 minutes away from live action! India will be keen on clinching this series, given that South Africa hasn't lost a limited-overs series in India since 2011.


India:  Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c) (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan.

South Africa: Reeza Hendricks , Quinton de Kock (wk), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Tristan Stubbs , Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj (c), Kagiso Rabada , Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje.

TOSS: South Africa wins the toss and elects to bowl. Three changes for the visitors - Reeza Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada and Tristan Stubbs are in. Temba Bavuma, Marco Jansen and Tabraiz Shamsi miss out. India is unchanged. Rishabh Pant has lost all five tosses in this series - but he won't mind that as long as India wins the series tonight.

PITCH REPORT: A very high-scoring venue. Boundaries are 67m square of the wicket and 77m straight. Firm pitch and good carry on offer but there are a number of cracks and it is a bit abrasive, so the spinners could come into play. There hasn't been much dew at the venue of late since it has been overcast for the past five days. Chasing team will have the upper hand, as has been the case historically.


18:05 IST: Temba Bavuma has been ruled out of today's match. His deputy Keshav Maharaj will lead the visitor today, while Reeza Hendricks is likely to replace the injured captain at the top of the order.


18:00 IST: We are half an hour away from the toss. After two days of rain in Bangalore, on Friday and Saturday, the rain gods have shown mercy today, so far. Coming to the series, one couldn't have asked for a better finish. After being 2-0 down, India fought back to level the series with its batters, pacers and spinners all stepping up to the plate. However, the stand out for many would be Dinesh Karthik's fairytale return to the national side after more than three years and his fifty in the last match - his first in T20Is after making his debut in 2006.


The fate of the bi-lateral Twenty20 International series between India and South Africa rests on the fifth and final encounter at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.

Honours are even at 2-2, after India recorded wins in the two previous outings. Fears that Bengaluru would be forced to host a dead rubber were wiped away by a strong comeback by the home team.

Persistent showers, however, could play spoilsport. The city is likely to witness heavy rain on Sunday night, which will test the SubAir drainage system at the stadium. Spectators can breathe easy knowing that the vacuum-powered suction system can get the ground ready for action 15 minutes after the rain stops.

FOLLOW LIVE: India vs South Africa Live weather Updates: Rain threatens to play spoilsport ahead of series-decider in Bangalore

The evergreen Dinesh Karthik will hope for an uninterrupted night out. Karthik, the only active international cricketer from the team which featured in India’s first-ever T20I (versus South Africa at Johannesburg in December 2006), rolled back the years with a rollicking 27-ball 55 in the previous game at Rajkot on Friday. The match-winning knock earned him the ‘Player of the Match’ award, an honour he had won nearly 16 years ago in Johannesburg.

Fast bowler Avesh Khan will also enter this fixture on a high, having picked up four wickets at Rajkot. Avesh, who had gone wicketless in the first three matches, repaid the faith shown by the team management.

“There have been no changes to the eleven in the four games here. I would like to give credit to (Head Coach) Rahul (Dravid) sir. He gives a good opportunity to everyone, because you can’t drop or include a
player, or say that he is a good player based on performances in one or two games. He has given all the players enough games to play, so you have a good opportunity to prove yourself,” Avesh said in the post-match media interaction.

The 25-year-old speedster is ready for a different challenge at Bengaluru. “In the last two matches, our bowling attack has executed all our plans. We were able to get wickets consistently - both in the PowerPlay and in the middle overs. We will strive to do the same and perform as a group on Sunday. You have no control over the pitch and conditions. Bengaluru will be different from Rajkot. The better you adapt to different conditions, the better your performance will be,” Avesh added.

South Africa must quickly address its recent batting woes, which have led to low scores of 131 and 87. Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen, the architects of the visitor’s victories in the opening two matches, have gone quiet. Captain Temba Bavuma, who retired hurt on Friday, is a doubtful starter.


India:  Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c) (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan.

South Africa:  Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock (wk), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj (c), Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Anrich Nortje.