India v South Africa, World T20, semi-final
Report by: Firdose Moonda
It has been 14 years, five Champions Trophies, five World Cups and four World T20s since South Africa last won a knockout match at an ICC event and that has not changed. Neither has the fact that India have not lost a semi-final under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. They marched into an all sub-continent final with a clinically cold-blooded chase against a South African team that put in one of their better performances in a crunch match but were still not good enough.
South Africa had never lost a T20 match after posting a 170-plus score before today and they would have thought they were halfway to breaking the hoodoo with that total. They were not overawed by India’s spinners, apart from R Ashwin, their captain Faf du Plessis put runs on the board, he was supported by JP Duminy, with whom he shared the biggest partnership of the match, and they had big overs at the end.
But India matched them man for man and then outplayed them through one of them. The tournament’s top run-scorer, Virat Kohli, went after the runs ruthlessly. He paced the chase perfectly, put on 56 runs with Yuvraj Singh, brought up his third half-century in four innings and then ushered India over the line with five balls to spare.