CT 2017, India v/s South Africa, 11th Game, Review: India crush South Africa to reach the semifinals

CT 2017, India v/s South Africa, 11th Game, Review: India crush South Africa to reach the semifinals

India annihilated the South African to reach the semifinals beating the Proteas by 8 wickets.

Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh
Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh of India. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

India rallied, surged and then shocked South Africa in a fairly lopsided contest at The Oval in London. The Indian bowlers had a field day and bowled out the strong Proteas batting line-up for a paltry 191. The chase, owing to the brilliant effort by the bowlers, was never going to be an arduous one as India sauntered home with 8 wickets in hand and 12 overs to spare.

Kohli inserted South Africa in first and the No. 1 ranked ODI side were off to a decent if not explosive start. Both Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock were strangled by some tight bowling early on but they bided time to make sure they don’t give early wickets. Making a comeback into coloured clothing, Ravichandran Ashwin got India the much-needed breakthrough when he sent Amla on his way with a ball that skidded off the surface and took the outside edge of the opener’s bat and went straight into the hands of Dhoni. Faf du Plessis and de Kock took the innings forward with a steady 40-run partnership but the latter lost his wicket trying to sweep Jadeja for a well made 52.

South Africa ‘choke’ yet again

The moment De Villiers strode out to the middle, there was high anticipation. He hadn’t scored many runs in this tournament but batted very fluently to reach 16 off just 12 balls faced. South Africa were well placed at 140 for 2 after 28 overs till they pressed the panic button. De Villiers ran himself out and that started the Proteas slide. At one point they looked set to reach 300 but the Indians constricted them and eventually bowl them out for 191. South Africa lost 8 wickets in 98 balls, which included as many as 3 run outs. Only Duminy batted with poise but ran out of partners to be stranded at 20 not out. Post De Villiers run out, all eyes were on Faf du Plessis. He again was involved in a tangle with David Miller were both batsmen bizarrely ended up racing at one end. Being involved in 2 run outs eventually got to du Plessis and he played an innocuous delivery back onto his stump for 36. Fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, who was later adjudged the Man of the Match, picked 2/23 and 28 respectively.

India clinical in the chase

The chase was a straightforward one but India did not want to take anything lightly. After Rohit’s early dismissal, Kohli played steadily as Shikhar Dhawan went about his business in usual attacking fashion. India were 26/1 after 9 overs when Dhawan decided enough is enough. He attacked Morkel in the next over to pick successive boundaries to get the scoreboard moving. After getting his eye in, it was skipper Kohli’s turn to hit a boundary. He walked into Phehlukwayo and smacked him over mid-off for a six which was also the Indian skipper’s first boundary of the innings.

In the quest of picking wickets, De Villiers last throw of the dice was Imran Tahir. Dhawan made sure that he took most of the strike and attacked the leg-spinner in his second over to pick two boundaries. That was like the last nail in the coffin as far as South Africa were concerned. Both went on to record enterprising fifties to deflate their opposition. Dhawan could have gotten to a record fourth Champions Trophy hundred but was holed out at long off for an entertaining 78. Seeing Dhawan walk back, Kohli made it a point that he was there to see off the chase in the company of the incoming batsman Yuvraj Singh.

Yuvraj helped himself to an unbeaten 23 and hit the winning runs – a six over midwicket off Duminy – to finish the comprehensive chase at the end of the 38 overs. Kohli was also there remaining unbeaten at 76 off 101 balls faced.

South Africa have known to choke in big ICC events, especially in a knockout game. Today being a virtual quarter-final, the pressure was on the No. 1 ranked ODI side to compete with a fine Indian side. Eventually, they squandered their chance of getting into the semifinals by producing their worst performance of this tournament. AB De Villiers will have to wait to get his hands on an elusive ICC Trophy.

Brief Scores:

South Africa – 191 all out in 44.3 overs (Quinton de Kock 53, Faf du Plessis 36, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/23 and Jasprit Bumrah 2/28).

India – 193 for 2 in 38 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 78, Virat Kohli 76*, Imran Tahir 1/37).