The fifth and deciding T20I between India and South Africa was abandoned due to rain in Bangalore on Sunday with the series ending level at 2-2.

India reached 28 for two in 3.3 overs after being put into bat first when a second rain interruption of the mtch forced players off the field at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Umpires then called off the match after rain refused to go away for over 90 minutes and players exchanged hand shakes.

After consecutive losses in Delhi and Cuttack, a new-look India led by Rishabh Pant bounced back in Vizag and Rajkot to win both games by a big margin. Meanwhile, South Africa were also affected by the availability of many of their mainstays in certain matches as Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell were all in and out of the side, while Aiden Markram was unavailable due to Covid, right from the start of the series.

India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar was named player of the series for picking up 6 wickets in the four matches he bowled in. In the post-match presentation, the 32-year-old said, “Really proud. Body feels good, but I don’t want to talk much about it. Just want to focus on getting stronger physically and with my bowling. Most of the times I bowl two at the top and two at the end. Being a senior, I think about how to help the youngsters.”

On Sunday, however, the final T20I proved to be a dampener as play started 50 minutes late, after rain forced the teams to head off the field just before the first ball was bowled. In the duration of the 21 deliveries that were bowled in the match, South African quick Lungi Ngidi bowled the left-handed Ishan Kishan for 15, and then got his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad caught at mid-on for 10.

Shreyas Iyer, on nought, and skipper Rishabh Pant, on one, were batting when play stopped for the final time. Earlier, South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma was ruled out of the line-up due to an elbow injury he suffered in the team’s previous loss. Keshav Maharaj stood in as captain.

(With inputs from AFP)