South Africa chokes again; India cruises to CT 2017 semifinals
London: India registered a thumping 8-wicket win over South Africa to qualify for the semifinal of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in the Group B encounter at the Kennington Oval ground here on Sunday.
South Africa once again followed their habit of choking in the crucial encounters. Despite getting a great start with the bat in the first inning, they failed to convert it in a daunting total, eventually failing to produce any troubles for Indian batsmen.
Shikhar Dhawan was once again the highest run scorer for India with 78 runs off 83 deliveries with 12 fours and a six. He, however, threw his wicket and missed the opportunity to score his second consecutive hundred in the ongoing Mini World Cup.
Skipper Virat Kohli ensured his team doesn’t sustain any more damage and comfortably led India to a cruising victory with 12 overs remaining. He scored 76 runs off 101 balls hitting 7 fours and a fabulous six. Yuvraj Singh also showed signs of being in great form scoring 23 runs off 25 deliveries with a four and a six. He finished off the proceedings in style with a six when India needed 5 runs to successfully chase down the 192-run target.
Opener Rohit Sharma, who was looking good initially, failed to convert it into a big inning and departed at personal score of 12 runs off 20 balls with 1 four and a six.
Dhawan and Kohli partnered the crease in a match-winning 128-run partnership for the second wicket which ensured that India is not going to face any more troubles in cruising to the semifinal possibly against Bangladesh.
Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir were the only wicket takers for South Africa as they got the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, respectively. They conceded 38 and 37 runs in 7 and 6 overs, respectively.
Earlier, Indian bowlers and especially fielders put up a great show in the virtual quarter-final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 to bundle up South Africa for a paltry 191 runs in 44.3 overs.
Despite getting off to a great start, South African batting once again seemed chocking in front of an upbeat Indian bowling attack. Three unnecessary run outs during the inning add more woes to Proteas which was hoping to put in its best effort to secure a place in the semifinal of the tournament.
After being put in to bat first by India, openers Quinton de Kock (53 off 72, 4 fours) and Hashim Amla (35 off 54, 3 fours, 1 six) added 76 runs for the first wicket in 17.3 overs. Amla was first to go back followed by De Kock and skipper AB de Villiers (16 off 12), who fell prey to an unfortunate run out.
David Miller (1 off 3), who looked in good form in the previous match, also went back following a major misunderstanding with Faf du Plessis (36 off 50, 1 four), who was next to depart. JP Duminy, though, remained unbeaten at 20 runs off 41 balls with 1 four, but could do nothing but watch the other batsmen going back in quick successions.
Chris Morris (4 off 8), Andile Phehlukwayo (4 off 11), Kagiso Rabada (5 off 8), Morne Morkel (0 off 1) and Imran Tahir (1 off 7) also failed to do much for their team.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were the pick of the bowlers as both of them bagged two wickets each for 23 and 28 runs, respectively. Kumar bowled 7.3 overs while Bumrah completed 8 overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja plucked one wicket each for 43, 52 and 39 runs, respectively.