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Friday, 4 April 2014

Report: SF: India vs South Africa – WT20 2014


With a six-wicket win over South Africa, MS Dhoni’s men muscled their way to the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 final. They chased down the 173-run target with five balls to spare and will take on Sri Lanka on April 6. Although Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy helped SA post a competitive score, it wasn’t enough to beat India. Virat Kohli made the target look easy. Complemented by Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina’s cameo, he led India to a semi-final win with a 72* (44 balls). (Also Read: Stats Highlights: SF: India vs South Africa – WT20 2014 )

Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane had dominated for the better part of the first quarter of the innings. Rahane anchored the first half of the Indian innings, before perishing to an aerial shot for 32. Rohit also took charge and picked two boundaries of Duminy to take 14 from the first over. He then guided Albie Morkel through point for four and later pulled him over midwicket. However, with India on 39, Rohit’s blitzkrieg came to an abrupt end when he was caught by the SA skipper, bringing Kohli out to the middle. 

Rahane ensured that the run rate didn’t dip drastically. Although they had kept the scoreboard ticking with runs coming in ones and twos for the next four overs, India needed the big hits. Looking to clear the fence, Rahane returned to the dressing room. With India on 80 for two halfway through the innings, Kohli slammed the ball over long on for six. Rotating his bowlers, du Plessis continued to keep the flow of runs in check as Yuvraj Singh joined Kohli. With the match hanging in the balance, and India needing 60 off 36 balls, du Plessis brought back Steyn who had three overs left. 

But Kohli brought up his half-century with a six off Imran Tahir in the next over. A ball later, Yuvraj was caught by AB de Villiers. At 133 for three, Raina took guard and got off the mark with a six off a short ball. Following up with two boundaries, he collected 17 runs off a Parnell over. With Kohli garnering 13 off Steyn in the next, the pair brought India within reach of the target. 

With six required, the left-hand batsman was sent back by Hendricks for 21, halting the partnership for 34. But with Kohli pulling the ball over square-leg for four and then taking a single, he had leveled the scores. India needed one of the last over and Kohli did the honours by striking a boundary.

Earlier, Indian bowlers began well as Bhuvneshwar Kumar took the edge off Quinton de Kock’s willow to dismiss him caught behind. Four overs later, Ravichandran Ashwin bowled Hashim Amla with his trademark carrom ball to leave SA on 44 for two. But du Plessis walked in and changed the course of the innings. The South African captain smothered the Indian attack with the support of JP Duminy. After biding their time of at the crease, the pair unleashed themselves on the Indian bowlers employing the sweep shot effectively against spinners. 

It was in the 12th over that du Plessis set the stage on fire as he collected 16 runs from it. And the next over by Mishra cost 17 runs. Joining du Plessis in the run-fest, Duminy dismissed the ball over deep mid-wicket for a six and then swept Mishra to the fence. 

The onslaught pushed Dhoni into bringing Ashwin back into the attack and that did the trick for India. Although he was struck by du Plessis over the ropes, the bowler got the better of the SA captain later in the over. 

AB de Villiers was the off-spinner’s next scalp in his following over. Although the destructive batsman was back in the dugout for just 10, there wasn’t much respite for India as David Miller joined Duminy in milking the Indian bowlers. Collecting 36 runs in the last three overs, they took the Proteas to 172 for four. Duminy remained unbeaten on 45, while Miller’s 18-ball cameo was worth 23. With three for 22, Ashwin’s performance with the ball stood out. 

Man of the Match: Virat Kohli for his match-winning knock to take India into the final.

  • Dhoni: "There was a sense of calmness in the dressing room. Everybody saw how the wicket behaved and it was a better wicket than what we have played on so far. Because of this, we felt we could chase this total down. Rohit and Rahane gave us a really good start. We have a lot of self-belief and back each other. Virat Kohli has been really consistent and he's a very special talent. Youngsters could learn from him. Ashwin was excellent this evening. I wanted to bowl him throughout and didn't want the fast bowlers to bowl at AB de Villiers. I wanted Kohli to hit the winnings runs as it was the best way I could thank him."
  • du Plessis: "I thought we batted brilliantly and it was a good score against a strong attack. The ball spun a bit and and they bowled well, particularly Ashwin, and I thought we posted a good score. Runs on the board is what you ask for but the bad thing is that India know how to chase. Virat Kohli was superb; he is world class. India have played brilliantly throughout and deserve it. They were the better side tonight and I think our bowling wasn't as good as it could have been. It's been a mixed campaign for us. We're a resilient bunch and we have fought hard and I am proud of that."

  • source: bcci.tv

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