The defending champions in the on-going ICC Champions Trophy, Team India successfully defeated South Africa in the virtual quarter-final knockout game on Sunday at The Oval. The comprehensive win against South Africa took India to Semi-final and probably will finish at top of the Group B.
It was a do or die game for both the sides and Indian skipper Virat Kohli opted to field first. South Africa brought in Andile Phehlukwayo in place of Wayne Parnell and India brought back their ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for Umesh Yadav. South African openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla started the innings for their team. They are one of the most consistent openers in the world right now and they started well once again on Sunday.
Quinton de Kock is an aggressive opener but he used to take time to kick off in this tournament and that was happened on this game too. Hashim Amla played supported de Kock by playing slowly and steady. Both of them gave a good start by not losing wicket in first 15 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin broken the partnership in the third ball of the 18th over and Hashim Amla was the victim who dismissed for 35 runs off 54 balls.
The vice-captain and inform batsman Faf du Plessis joined with de Kock and started to build an another good partnership. With Quinton de Kock’s half-century, South Africa crossed 100 runs in 22nd over. The left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja picked his first wicket of the match in the 25th over and well settled Quinton was the batsman who dismissed for 53 runs off 72 balls. South Africa were 116/2 in 24.2 overs on that stage when their captain AB de Villiers arrived the middle. Plenty of expectations on him and he started his innings positively by scoring quick runs.
Both ABD and de Plessis added 26 in four overs before ABD dismissed in heartbroken way. The accurate throw Hardik Pandya ran out AB de Villiers for 16 runs. That was the game changing moment for both the teams and India took an advantage of that wicket and turned the match completely on their favor. To added to the frustrating moment, David Miller who scored 75 not out against Pakistan, ran out for just 1 run. The second ran out inside 6 deliveries and Faf du Plessis involved in both of those runouts.
JP Duminy was the next man in and joined du Plessis. Both the batsmen played very cautiously after those unexpected run outs. Faf du Plessis has scored only 1 boundary in his innings and he was the next one walked back for 36 runs off 50 balls. Hardik Pandya was the only bowler who leaked runs in this game, clean bowled Du Plessis and picked his first of the match. The score was 157 for 5 in 33.3 overs. South Africans were lost the momentum completely after Faf’s dismissal and lower middle order and tailenders walked back to the pavilion one by one.
Indian pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shared two wickets each in the later part of the innings. Bumrah picked a wickets of bowling all rounders Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo and both of them scored 4 runs each. Bhuvneshwar Kumar who bowled brilliant first spell with the new ball back in to the attack in 41 over and picked two back to back wickets. Young Kagiso Rabada was the first one who dismissed for 5 and followed by Morne Morkel with golden duck. Imran Tahir also not stayed in the middle and accompanied JP Duminy for the long time. He was the third player to be lost his wicket by ran out in the innings. Indian skipper Kohli and Dhoni involved in that run out attempt and succeeded. With Tahir’s wicket, South Africa bowled out for 191 runs in 44.3 overs. JP Duminy remained unbeaten with 20 runs off 41 balls. Ashwin, Pandya and Jadeja shared one wicket each, while Bumrah and Bhuvi picked 2 each.
South Africans sets the target of 192 runs to win in 50 overs and Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan arrived the middle. Both the openers smashed early sixes and shared one each to their name. It was a good and steady start of the defending champions. But, Rohit Sharma’s miss hit in the over no. 6, Morne Morkel picked his first wicket and India was 1 down for 23 runs. Rohit Sharma who scored 91 and 78 in last two matches, scored only 12 runs off 20 balls in this last group match.
Skipper Virat Kohli arrived the crease and took his time to settle. On other side, the man in form of Champions Trophy, Dhawan played his natural game and played his shots often. Both Dhawan and Kohli supported each other and concentrated well on scoring runs. Once these two players started to score runs, South African bowlers struggled to control the flow of runs. Shikhar Dhawan reached his another half-century in style and continued his good work. The partnership between Kohli and Dhawan were very solid and they put up 128 runs for the second wicket. When score was 151 runs, India lost their second wicket and top leg-spinner Imran Tahir was the bowler who piked dangerous Dhawn out.
The experiened Yuvraj Singh was the next batsman arrived in the middle and joined his captain Virat Kohli. The half-century was completed by Kohli and he started to score runs quickly along with Yuvraj. India has chased down the target successfully in 38 overs. Captain Virat Kohli remained not out with 76 off 101 balls and Yuvraj also remained unbeaten with 23 off 25 balls. India won the last group game by 8 wickets.
If any unbelievable things happens in the match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka only India will go down to no.2 in the points table or else India would continue at top of the group and will meet neighbor Bangladesh in the Semi-Final match on Thursday. Jasprit Bumrah adjusted man of the match for his spell of 8 overs 2 for 28 runs.
There was an another poor performances from the South Africans in ICC tournaments. Their unlucky factor continuing and they goes back home after that loss.
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