So, it has happened once again. The choker tag and the South African cricket team are perhaps married forever.
After being asked to bat first, the Proteas made a comedy of errors and got hammered down for 191 after only 44.3 overs, losing all their wickets in that time. In response, the Indian batsmen grabbed the South African bowling by the throat and comfortably won the game by 8 wickets, booking their place in the semi-finals in the process.
Here are 5 memorable moments from the match that don’t fade away, quite like the Axe Signature range of body perfumes.
Despite the fact that the Proteas were bundled for under 200 runs, they started off pretty well with Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock opening the innings. Indeed, the duo put up a 76-run partnership before Amla perished.
The youngster made 53 runs from just 72 balls, but his innings consisted of only four boundaries. And this just goes to show the tightness of the Indian bowlers that an aggressive batsman like De Kock couldn’t get going despite being out there for over 70 balls.
Bhuvi takes charge
Ravi Shastri cliched dialogue goes something like this: “At the end of the day, cricket was the real winner.” For this game, however, it was only India with the help of some impressive run outs. Virat Kohli used five bowlers tonight, but they could take up only seven wickets among themselves.
Run outs, on the other hand, had three victims. Two among them were South Africa’s most powerful hitters, AB de Villiers and David Miller. These two batsmen are capable of saving any game from any given situation.
Not only that, their presence till the 50th over guarantees a huge score, something that could have turned the game against India. But due to some extremely good work in the field, both of these batsmen were dismissed before they could have done any damage.
Dhawan’s fine form continues
Shikhar Dhawan divides opinion like none other. For some, he is the best possible opener for India, while for some others, he is an overrated batsman halting the way for other—better—players waiting on the fringes.
However, what can’t be argued is Shikhar Dhawan’s prolific performances in the Champions Trophy. In the all the games he played in the two editions of the tournament, he has only scored below 50 runs on two occasions. Tonight against the South Africans, he continued his fine form by scoring his third consecutive 50 in this year’s CT.
In the 83 balls that he faced, he scored 78 runs to virtually win the game for his team right from the word go.
Virat Kohli’s captain touch
Well, well, it is really a common sight, isn’t it? Death, taxes and Virat Kohli playing well for India. This man can’t stop scoring runs. There is a good chance that by the time he hangs up his boots he will have more runs than the great Sachin Tendulkar.
But that is a topic for another day. Right now, he has carried his team to the semi-final of the Champions Trophy with yet another great innings. While Shikhar Dhawan was batting with aggression, Virat Kohli played the role of the sheet anchor by scoring 76 off 101 balls.
This might be an innings unlike the usual Kohli, but the ability to adapt is what sets the great apart from the good.