• Thursday, July 25, 2024

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India win T20 World Cup, beat South Africa in seesaw final

The Men in Blue made a magnificent comeback into the game after Heinrich Klaasen launched a counter-attack and took his side to the threshold of victory.

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS – JUNE 29: Players of India celebrate victory after winning the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup following the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024 Final match between South Africa and India at Kensington Oval on June 29, 2024 in Bridgetown, Barbados. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA ended a long drought to clinch their second T20 World Cup on Saturday (29) when they beat South Africa by seven runs in the final at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown in Barbados.

Batting first after winning the toss, India posted a total of 176 for 7 in 20 overs, propelled by Virat Kohli’s 59-ball 76, and restricted the Proteas to 169 for 8. It was India’s world title in T20 cricket after a gap of 17 years. They had won the inaugural edition of the tournament under Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2007. Rohit Sharma, who led India to win the tournament for the second time on Saturday, was a member of that squad as well.

The match seemed to be slipping away from the Men in Blue when Heinrich Klaasen went after their spinners, plundering 52 runs in just 27 balls. But India’s fast bowlers in Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya pulled things back towards the end, supported by some magnificent catching.

Read: Virat Kohli retires from T20 internationals after India win World Cup

Klaasen was removed by Pandya who got him caught by wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant and the Proteas then needed just 26 runs in 23 balls. Knowing they had to take the initiative, Sharma turned early for Bumrah’s final over and he chipped in perfectly, bowling Marco Jansen and conceding just two runs in the 18th over.

That meant South Africa required 20 from the final two overs and Singh bowled a superb length to allow just four in the penultimate over.

With 16 to win off the last over, Pandya bowled a full-toss at Miller who smashed it high straight down the ground but Suryakumar Yadav took a breath-taking catch on the boundary, throwing the ball back into play before he crossed the ropes and then returning to complete the formalities.

Kagiso Rabada hit a four by edging the ball but Pandya, despite showing some nerves with a wide, kept his cool to ensure that the final did not go the way of the 50-over World Cup final at home last November.

South Africa opener Quinton de Kock (39) and Tristan Stubbs (31) also played key roles for their team before the Klaasen onslaught but eventually it was India who had the last laugh. Pandya ended up with three wickets while Singh and Bumrah two each.

India recover well to reach 176

Earlier in the day, India were off to a good start with 23 runs coming in less than two overs but they lost the momentum with Rohit Sharma (9), Pant (0) and Yadav (3) returning to the pavilion in quick time. It was then when Kohli and Axar Patel (47) came together to add 72 runs for the fourth wicket. After Patel got himself run out with a lazy move, Shivam Dube (27) joined Kohli and the duo added 57 runs to push their team’s total past 170. Spinner Keshav Maharaj, who opened the bowling for South Africa, took two wickets, along with Anrich Nortje, while Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada took one wicket each.

Kohli, who averaged less than 11 till before the final, was adjudged the player of the match while Bumrah, who took 15 wickets in the tournament at an average of 4.17, was picked as the player of the series.

It was India’s first International Cricket Council trophy after 11 years.

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