MIRPUR: Virat Kohli’s smashing innings powered to the finals of the ICC World T20, beating South Africa by six wickets in a high scoring game at Mirpur.
Kohli was unbeaten on 44-ball 72 laced with five fours and a couple of sixes.
On other side of stumps, Suresh Raina played an important innings of 21 runs on 9 balls., returned to pavilion just few balls before the winning stroke by Kohli.
Openers Ajinke Rahane and Rohit Sharma also contributed in India’s big chase, scoring 32 and 24 respectively.
Earlier, batting first, skipper Faf du Plessis came back from his one-match suspension with an attractive half-century as South Africa posted a challenging 172 for four against India..
Riding on Du Plessis’ 58 off 41 balls and senior campaigner Jean-Paul Duminy’s 40-ball-45, the Proteas scored their highest total against India in the tournament so far. David Miller’s 12-ball-23 also helped to prop up the total, which went past 170.
Barring Ravichandran Ashwin, who had brilliant figures of three for 22 from his four overs, other Indian bowlers had a disappointing day in office.
Amit Mishra gave his worst performance (0/36 in three overs) in the tournament, even as Dhoni was unable to complete the quota of his three specialist bowlers.
Most impressive part about South Africa’s batting was that their batsmen did not try to fight the conditions. Du Plessis showed the virtue of spending some time before going on the ascendancy, while the seasoned Duminy also played an important hand in the team’s total.
Duminy-Du Plessis pair added 71 runs in 8.4 overs for the third wicket, which laid the foundation for a fighting score. Both these batsmen decided to play out Ashwin and attack the other bowlers which yielded desired results.Quinton de Kock (6) got a debatable caught behind decision off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling. The left-handed opener flashed at a wide delivery from the seamer but it deviated taking an under-edge that was caught by Dhoni behind the stumps. Umpire Ian Gould gave the decision after some contemplation but the batsman looked unhappy.
Hashim Amla (22) continued with his fine batting and drove Mohit Sharma on the rise to get a streaky boundary. Du Plessis followed the suit charging out to the young seamer and hitting him over mid-wicket for a four.
However, Amla’s free-hitting did not last long even though he got a couple of more boundaries in Bhuvneshwar’s next over. Ashwin coming from round the wicket bamboozled Amla with a carom ball that spun like a classical leg-break.
India 176 for 4 (Kohli 72*, Hendricks 2-31) beat South Africa172 for 4 (du Plessis 58*, Ashwin 3-22) by six wickets