Sunday, July 21, 2024

India seal T20 World Cup glory after epic duel against South Africa!

India have got over that finish line at long last. They somehow pulled things back despite South Africa needing just 30 to win off 30 balls and won their second T20 World Cup title. It is their first major title since 2013 and the first time they won the T20 World Cup since the inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup. India are also the first team ever to win a T20 World Cup without losing a single match throughout the tournament and the first team since 2013 to win an ICC title in this manner. Former captain Virat Kohli, who had struggled all tournament long, was player of the match for his 76 off 59 balls and he announced his retirement from T20Is in the presentation ceremony.

After a sensational tournament, two unbeaten sides met in Barbados in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final.

And it was won by India – by a narrow margin of just seven runs.

An attritional 76 from Virat Kohli had helped India to a monumental first-innings score of 176/7 as they sought their first crown in over a decade.

Opponents South Africa were looking for their first world title ever as they chased 177 – and came immensely close, with some fine batting from Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen.

Toss: India won toss and bat first.

Key wickets fall early

After an expensive opening over from Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj took two in the second – first Rohit Sharma, caught by Heinrich Klaasen, and then Rishabh Pant, caught by Quinton de Kock.

Kagiso Rabada got the important wicket of Suryakumar Yadav for just 3 in the fifth over, with Klaasen again taking the catch as the batter looked to attack.

Virat Kohli and Axar Patel formed a vital partnership of 72 for the fourth wicket, but it was ended by a combination of poor running and exceptional fielding. De Kock picked up a gentle tap from Kohli and promptly threw it at the non-striker’s end, where Axar was well out of his ground.

Shivam Dube joined Kohli at the crease, and they put on another valuable knock of 57 between them before South Africa made inroads in the last two overs.

Kohli’s battling innings came to an end for 76, skying Jansen into the hands of Rabada at long-on, and then Anrich Nortje continued his fine tournament with two wickets in the final over – Dube hitting hard into the hands of David Miller, and then Ravindra Jadeja edging to Maharaj on the last ball.

Bumrah strikes early

There were more early wickets in the South Africa innings, with Jasprit Bumrah bowling a perfect delivery to knock over Reeza Hendricks in the second over, followed by Aiden Markram edging Arshdeep Singh behind.

De Kock continued his excellent form, though, partnering up with Tristan Stubbs for 58 off 38 balls.

Stubbs’ departure – bowled by Axar Patel for 31 – brought Heinrich Klaasen to the crease for the last ball of the ninth over, with South Africa still needing more than 100 runs.

And de Kock could not helm the chase, holing Arshdeep out to the hands of Kuldeep Yadav for a valuable 39.

David Miller joined Klaasen and their combined big hitting got the required run-rate down to a run a ball, with 30 remaining.

But Klaasen nicked Hardik Pandya behind for 52 in the 17th over, looking for another boundary to close the gap even further, leaving his side on 151/5, this was the turning point of the match.

Marco Jansen was out shortly afterwards to a great Bumrah ball as the required run-rate increased again – with 20 needed off the last two overs.

And Miller fell in the first ball of the final over for 21, attempting a six off Hardik but reaching only the hands of Suryakumar on the run, who managed to keep his feet the right side of the rope.

Maharaj and Rabada tried to keep the pressure on.

But they could not fend off Hardik for much longer, with Rabada hefting a shot straight to Suryakumar again.

A single from Anrich Nortje left South Africa eight runs short of victory in an epic final.

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