India outwit SA by seven runs to clinch T20 World Cup

| | Bridgetown (Barbados)
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India outwit SA by seven runs to clinch T20 World Cup

Saturday, 29 June 2024 | PTI | Bridgetown (Barbados)

India outwit SA by seven runs to clinch T20 World Cup

On an emotion-filled day, India ended their 11-year wait for a global trophy, overcoming South Africa, who chocked at the business end of the match by seven runs to emerge champions in the T20 World Cup here.

It was India's second T20 World Cup victory after they had won it in 2007 under the legendary MS Dhoni in South Africa, and first since winning the Champions Trophy in 2013.

Star batter Virat Kohli, who was an upcoming cricketer 17 years ago, made his first fifty of this tournament in the final -- a classy 76 off 59 balls with six fours and two sixes that carried India to a competitive 176 for seven.

Then the Indian bowlers, led by Arshdeep Singh (2/20) and Jasprit Bumrah (2/18), worked their magic as they did throughout this tournament, limiting South Africa to 169 for eight to propel India to their second T20 World Cup.

There were pockets of fight from the Proteas, who were playing in their maiden World Cup final.

Heinrich Klaasen threatened India with a 52 off 27 balls (2x4, 5x6) but Hardik Pandya (3/20) snatched the crucial wicket to bring the game decisively in favour of India.

But a large chunk of the credit should go to Kohli for anchoring the innings and pushing India to a fighting total.

He completed his fifty in 48 balls, but the knock was what precisely India needed the early dismissals of skipper Rohit Sharma (9), Rishabh Pant (0) and Suryakumar Yadav (3), which had reduced India to a worrying 34 for three.

However, Kohli had an able partner in Axar Patel (47, 31 balls, 1x4, 6x4) during the fourth wicket alliance that produced precious 72 runs to ease the early nerves.

After the run-out of Axar, who took on SA bowlers bravely, another left-hander Shivam Dube (27 off 16 balls, 3x4 1x6) gave some late steam to Indian innings.

Brief scores: India: 176/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 76, Axar Patel 47; Keshav Maharaj 2/23) beat South Africa: 169/8 in 20 overs (Henirich Klaasen 52, Jasprit Bumrah 2/18, Arshdeep Singh 2/20) by 7 runs.

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