Sunday, June 11, 2017

ICC Champions Trophy 2017 : India vs South Africa

India vs South Africa, a virtual quarterfinals for this tournament, promising a real nail biter of a match at Oval, turned out to be quite a disappointment.

India won the toss & put South Africa into bat, under a clear sky. The openers, de Kock & Hashim Amla started quite well for the Proteas putting up 76 runs, before Ashwin tied Amla into nicking behind for Dhoni to snap a catch, as the score read 76 for 1 in the 18th over. de Kock tried to settle the nerves with next in du Plessis, but was bowled through his pads by Jadeja, just after completing his half century. Suddenly panic had set into the Proteas batting, as wickets just kept tumbling one after the other, with needless run outs, or silly strokes, it was simply madness in the middle. They could not even bat the allotted 50 overs, & were all out for a paltry 191 in the 45th over. The no 1 team in ODI, but always known to choke & panic in pressure situations, were down on their knees. India were superb in their fielding & bowling, very disciplined, not leaving an inch for the opponents. The last 8 wickets had gone for just 51 runs.

India had the easiest of the chases to get along with, needing 192 runs at less than 4 runs per over. Though Rohit got our early to Morkel, caught behind, the chase was always under control, as Dhawan & Virat tore open the SA bowling attack to shreds taking the score to 151, before Dhawan holed out to Tahir in the deep. Virat & Yuvi then finished the game, with 12 overs still left. Dhawan & Virat got their half centuries, as India knocked out SA & entered the semis.
The match turned out to be a damp squib, & supporters form all over were rather disappointed with such a lame performance from the South Africans. Once again, they collapsed under pressure.
India is looking good in all departments, with Ashwin making a successful come back into the playing eleven. Jasprit Bumrah was adjusted the Man of Match for figures of 2 wickets for 28 runs in 8 overs - he was spot on with his accurate yorkers & length bowling & along with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, broke the Proteas batting spine. However, according to me, it was Shikhar Dhawan with his 78 runs, who deserved the award more - he is now the leading run getter in the tournament with 271 runs, which includes a century & two half centuries.