Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

India sail into semifinals, beat SA by eight wickets

India's captain Virat Kohli, left and India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrate taking the wicket of South Africa's David Miller during the IC India's captain Virat Kohli, left and India's Jasprit Bumrah celebrate taking the wicket of South Africa's David Miller during the IC
Lucas Bell | 12 June, 2017, 16:00

Shikhar Dhawan's 78 and Kohli's 76 were the key contributions as India chased down 192 with 12 overs to spare.

"Today (against South Africa), it was all about asking him whether to keep the slip in there long enough or what does he think of the fields and just taking assurance".

Two run-outs of skipper AB de Villiers (16) and David Miller (1) within a space of six deliveries started the slide from which South Africa could never recover with nearly all the Indian bowlers becoming successful in choking up the runs.

Hashim Amla was very watchful, escaping an early run-out attempt as he toiled for runs before falling for 35 off 54 balls.

In fact, the Chase Start against South Africa gills like Team India never Cover 100 at the Tournament.

And it was the run out of De Villiers, one of the greatest cricketers of the modern era, which sparked South Africa's collapse from 140-2 to 191 all out.

It was a needless mistake indicative of South Africa's malaise and Faf du Plessis was next to perish, for 36, after failing to read Pandya's slower ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, in particular, was spot-on with both the new and old ball.

"Our bowlers bowled really well and the fielders backed it up".

India could not afford to lose the match against South Africa to book a spot in semifinals. Babar Azam (31not out) and Shoaib Malik (16 not out) gotPakistan ahead of their required run-rate to secure a 19-run win under the Duckworth- Lewis method when rain stopped play with their side 119 for three off 27 overs. The opening partnership of 76 runs came off 17.3 overs.

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The ball was duly delivered to the other end, and after much deliberation it was decided that Miller was the one to go.

Quinton's dismissal saw the Indian bowlers starting to dominate proceedings as the rest of the South African batsmen displayed poor shot selection at times. Kohli said there were no demons in the wicket and it was a good batting surface.

Dhawan was the first of the pair to reach his half-century with his eighth four, with Kohli reaching the same landmark soon after.

Du Plessis was their last hope of rewriting that sorry script, but he dragged Hardik Pandya onto his stumps four overs after Miller went.

After dispatching South Africa with unexpected ease inside 45 overs, India casually prolonged South Africa's misery for 38 more overs before Yuvraj Singh hit the winning runs by clipping part-time spinner JP Duminy for a six over midwicket.

"When the opportunity comes your way, you have to grab it". Depends on what the bowlers offer us.

"I can't pinpoint any negatives from the day, it was our best game yet. For that, we train harder and for that we practice harder, and those things pay off in crunch situations", Kohli said. "We are always like that, and I love it", he said. AB's departure hurt us. We did not plan to play conservative cricket up front. "To be able to bowl like that against a batting line-up of their capability is something that already we can feel that confidence and that energy in the change room because of a bowling performance like this, and we surely would like to take that forward into the semis", he added.

"Not a lot of people believe me but I feel (we're) pretty close (to a championship)".

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