ICC Champions Trophy 2017, India vs South Africa: AB de Villiers' run-out is the SK Turning Point of the Match
It was a virtual knockout match as India took on South Africa at the Kennington Oval, London. No team had qualified for the semi-finals from the Group B and the winner of the game was to make it to the next round whereas the loser would fly back home.
The build up to the game suggested that it was going to be a close game but as it turned out, the defending champions brought their A game forward while the Proteas choked again. And in doing so, India became the first side from the group to reach the semi-final.
Initially, Virat Kohli won the toss and asked the opposition to bat first. The openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla made a subdued start as Indian seamers didn’t let them break free. Although Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah didn’t extract swing, they bowled tight lines and kept a check on the scoring.
After 10 overs, the Africans could score just 35 runs. Amla tried to break the shackles and did manage to find a few boundaries. But the latest addition to the Indian side – Ravichandran Ashwin accounted for his wicket in the 18th over for 35 when the score read 76/1.
Quinton de Kock carried on to make a half-century but was soon bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 53 in the 25th over. At 116/2, South Africa’s 2 best batsmen got together at the crease. Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers began to make up for the slow run-rate and for the first time, there was some urgency at the crease.
The duo added 24 runs in next 23 balls and it seemed as if the innings was finally getting the much-needed momentum. But all didn’t go well from that point onwards for the Proteas.
The turning point
Faf du Plessis was facing up to Ravindra Jadeja in the 29th over. Off the second ball, he dabbed one towards point and ran immediately. The skipper at the non-striker’s end responded despite having hamstring issues before the match.
Perhaps the batsmen were unaware of Hardik Pandya’s agility in the field and miscalculated the quick single. Pandya picked up the ball and released it in no time. The throw was pinpoint accurate straight into the gloves of MS Dhoni.
In a fraction of a second, the keeper whipped off the bails and AB’s diving attempt to make the ground wasn’t sufficient. The replays showed the batsman was short of the crease and was ruled out for 16 off 12 balls. In the context of the match, it was a big wicket that put India in the driver's seat.
A collapse that followed
In the very next over, David Miller was another batsman who became a victim of confusion in running between the wickets. Both the batsman were at the same end and Miller was run-out at the non-striker’s end by Kohli as the Proteas were now down to 142/4 and there were more big names to follow.
The floodgates opened when the set batsman Du Plessis was castled by Pandya for 36 in the 34th over. The Indian bowlers were all over the South Africans as the wickets kept falling at regular intervals.
Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel didn’t provide much resistance either as all of a sudden they were found reeling at 184/9. JP Duminy was the only recognised batsman who was at the crease for some time.
He tried to farm the strike with Imran Tahir at the other end But there was very little he was allowed to do. Tahir became the third batsman to be run-out and they were bowled out for just 191 after 44.3 overs. After AB’s dismissal, South Africa could add only 51 runs and lost 7 wickets.
A walk in the park for India
Chasing a mediocre total, the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan took the field. The duo began well and each of them hit a six to get going. But Rohit tried to go over the top against Morkel but got an edge that carried to the keeper and India lost the first wicket at 23 in the 6th over.
But Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli got together and literally ran away with the game. They added 128 runs for the 2nd wicket with both of them notching up their half-centuries. Dhawan departed after scoring 78 off 83 balls in the 31st over but the team was already knocking on the doors of victory at that stage.
Kohli stayed unbeaten at 76 off 101 balls and Yuvraj Singh made 23 and the duo took the side past the line. India won the match by 8 wickets with 12 overs to spare and powered their way to the semi-finals.