Yet another ICC tournament. Yet another exit. The sad state of affairs in big tournaments for South Africa to continue as they bow out of Champions Trophy 2017. It was nothing short of a heartbreak for AB de Villiers & Co as India proved why they are world beaters.
On a bright sunny day at the Oval, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers two of the finest ambassadors of the game made their way into the middle for the toss. Kohli wins the toss and decides to have a bowl at the no.1 side and the no.1 batsman. Amla and De Kock made their way to the middle. They gave South Africa a blazing start to the innings and added 76 for the 1st wicket before Amla perished off Ashwin. Indian bowlers had kept it very tidy and not allowing any free runs for the batsmen. Till the 29th over Proteas were 140/2, but afterwards started the epic downfall.
Some call it the downfall or falling of the cycle stand. But when it happens quite a good number of times you call it the choke! Faf Duplessis ran de Villiers out, repeating the 2011 World Cup fiasco. He didn’t stop there. He ran Miller out before getting himself bowled off Pandya. It almost looked like he was the 12th man in disguise for the Indian team!
India were set a target of 192, under par considering the long list of strokemakers India had. Dhawan and Rohit started things off for India. Rohit didn’t last long as he fell prey to Morkel in the 6th over. In came the Captain Virat Kohli looking positive and to let the bat do the talking.
Kohli had a short period of discomfort but then he slowly and steadily flourished while Dhawan was making a mockery of the Proteas. What a batsman this guy has been in Champions Trophy. The man for the big occasion again fired when it mattered the most. He scored yet another half century. Kohli put his class, elegance and brilliance over his innings and reached yet another half century. He proves time and again he loves pressure and he certainly loves chasing totals. Just as Dhawan was looking to cheer the crowd with his expensive shots, he gave away his wicket to Tahir trying to go for the fancy shot. Yuvraj came in, stayed with Kohli till the end and put India through to the match.
The most important moment of the match came when the commentator was just saying about Dhoni finishing the match. Yuvraj Singh might have been hearing that. He obliged with a six to finish a comprehensive victory for India. India will meet Bangladesh in the semi finals of the Champions Trophy.
16 – Shikhar Dhawan becomes the fastest to 1000 runs in ICC ODI tournaments. He is followed by Sachin Tendulkar(18) and Mark Waugh,Sourav Ganguly,Hershelle Gibbs(20).
128 – The partnership between Kohli and Dhawan is the 3rd highest partnership for the 2nd wicket vs South Africa in Champions Trophy. This is also the 5th highest partnership vs South Africa in Champions Trophy overall.
192 – Shikhar Dhawan has the 2nd highest most runs vs South Africa in Champions Trophy. Highest is Chris Gayle (234 runs).
191 – This is the 3rd lowest score for South Africa in Champions Trophy. Lowest being 108(vs New Zealand,2013) and 175 (vs England,2013).
14 – This is the joint highest number of times a team has appeared in the semi-finals of ICC tournaments. India and Australia are now the joint highest followed by Pakistan(13).
7 – AB de Villiers has been run out now for 7 times in ICC ODI tournaments. He is just second to Inzamam-ul-Haq (9).
4 – India have beaten South Africa now 4 times in the Champions Trophy – 2000,2002,2013,2017.