After a phase of sheer thrill, India finally made it to semifinals of Champions Trophy 2017. The match against South Africa was much of a quarter-final leading the winner to next phase while sending the other straight home. The only bummer for South Africa is: it became the team to leave the tournament after the match, despite of being the top ODI team in ICC charts. In addition to those odds from Faf du Plessis, in overall, team South Africa remained highly marginal in both bowling and batting.
Winning the toss, skipper Virat Kohli sent De Villiers’s squad to bat, covering the field himself. Then came those blunt deliveries from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. The bowlers strangulated Protease openers slogging the inning. The opening partnership between Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla broke only in the 18th over, but it had no good impact on the score trickling down on 76 runs in the stretch. Ravichandran Ashwin had an imperative role in denying runs, so was Ravindra Jadeja.
Du Plessis started his inning good, and AB de Villiers too, but their partnership was short lived bringing 24 off 23. It looked as if the inning recovered, but de Villiers was run out. It was a no brainer from du Plessis, who was just confused even to shout ‘no’. Next was David Miller, run out, because Plessis was all unsure. These two run outs were the turning point of the inning, after which, it never recovered. India slogged South Africa at 191, exhausting the batting line up before 33 balls. There were massive numbers of dot balls in the inning. All credit to India bowlers scalping eight wickets for 51 runs.
As if the chase of 192 was a luxury for India. The batsmen were slow and steady. There was no haste, with only Shikhar Dhawan reaching the top strike rate of 93.97. The top order played responsibly and graded. Dhawan and Kohli both knocked half centuries, 78 and 76 respectively, for their partnership of 128 runs stretched over 24.4 overs. India played 38 overs to propelling South Africa home.
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