Bengaluru: South Africa skipper Quinton de Kock cruised his side to a nine-wicket victory over India in the third T20I match at M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday.

 With this win, South Africa levelled the three-match T20I series by 1-1. India had won the second T20I by seven wickets after the first match was abandoned due to rain.
 Chasing a moderate target of 135 runs, South Africa had a brilliant start as both the openers, Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks, struck regular boundaries.

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Both formed a partnership of 76 runs, putting the Proteas in a dominating position in the match. Hardik Pandya provided India with their first breakthrough as he got hold of Hendricks (28) in the 11th over after Virat Kohli caught an impeccable catch.

However, De Kock did not stop smashing boundaries and hit two fours to Pandya in the same over to complete his half-century. Temba Bavuma joined De Kock after Hendricks' dismissal.

Both De Kock and Bavuma started playing furiously and took their side over the line, with 19 balls to spare. De Kock played an unbeaten knock of 79 runs while Bavuma scored 27*.

Earlier, after opting to bat first, India had a decent start as Rohit Sharma was dismissed in the third over after scoring nine runs. Opener Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli then provided the hosts with some momentum.

Both formed a 41-run partnership before Dhawan (36) was sent back to the pavilion by Tabraiz Shamsi in the eighth over. Kohli (9) too followed Dhawan back to the pavilion in the next over, bowled by Kagiso Rabada.

Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant then took the field but both failed to leave a mark as they were dismissed by Bjorn Fortuin, in the 13th over. Pant (19) gave away an easy catch to Andile Phehlukwayo while Iyer was stumped after scoring five runs.

With Iyer's dismissal, half of the Indian side was sent back to the pavilion by the Proteas when they were at 92 runs. Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya were the next batsmen but the former only managed to score four runs before Beuran Hendricks sent him back to the pavilion.

Ravindra Jadeja then accompanied Hardik on the field. Both played cautiously and another 29 runs to the board. Rabada bowled the last over and three Indian batsmen were dismissed in the over.

First, Jadeja was caught and bowled by Rabada then Washington Sundar was run out after which Hardik Pandya was caught by David Miller. India scored seven runs in the last over and set a target of 135 runs for South Africa.

India and South Africa will now play a three-match Test series, starting from October 2.

Brief scores: South Africa 140/1 (Quinton de Kock 79*, Reeza Hendricks 28, Hardik Pandya 1-23) defeat India 134/9 (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Ravinder Jadeja 19, Kagiso Rabada 3-39) by nine wickets. (ANI)