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India topple South Africa to reach T20 final

Yuvraj Singh congratulates Virat Kohli after India's six wicket win over South Africa.

Yuvraj Singh congratulates Virat Kohli after India's six wicket win over South Africa. Photo: AFP

Former champions India upstaged South Africa by six wickets in the second semi-final in Dhaka to cruise into the final of World Twenty20.

Chasing 173 to win, India were led by a swashbuckling knock of 72 not out by Virat Kohli as they strolled to the target with five balls to spare.

This becomes India's second final in five World Twenty20 tournaments after they won the inaugural event held in South Africa in 2007.

They meet Sri Lanka in the final in Dhaka on Sunday.

In contrast, South Africa, regarded as perennial chokers in crucial matches, yet again failed to reach any world level final since their readmission into cricket in 1991.

Kohli smashed five boundaries and two sixes off 44 balls in a brilliant display of batting, highlighting India's strength at chasing a target.

He hit paceman Dale Steyn for a boundary to seal the win much to the jubilation of a packed Shere Bangla stadium.

Kohli and other Indian batsmen blunted South Africa's best bowlers, leg-spinner Imran Tahir -- joint highest wicket-taker so far in the tournament with 12 -- and paceman Steyn with authority.

Tahir managed just one wicket for 30 runs in his four overs while Steyn went for 36 in 3.1 overs.

Kohli brought up his seventh T20 fifty with a huge six off Tahir and despite the loss off Yuvraj Singh (18) and Suresh Raina (21) kept the run-chase smooth.

Rohit Sharma made a 13-ball 24 with a six and four boundaries and Ajinkya Rahane scored 32 off 30 balls.

South Africa, who batted after winning the toss, were helped to 4-172 with skipper Faf du Plessis scoring a 41-ball 58 for his fifth Twenty20 fifty.

He added 71 for the third wicket with Jean-Paul Duminy who made an unbeaten 40-ball 45 to bolster the innings.

Du Plessis, who missed South Africa's last game against England because of a slow over-rate suspension, hit five boundaries and two towering sixes as the duo negotiated an Indian spin quartet.

Opener Quinton de Kock (six) went in the first over before Hashim Amla and Du Plessis took the score to 44 in the fifth over.

But Ravichandran Ashwin, who took 3-22 in his four overs, put the brakes on South Africa's progress, claiming Amla (22) and then dangerman AB de Villiers (ten) off a miscued pull shot which was smartly held by Rohit Sharma at long leg.

In between du Plessis and Duminy batted with guts to take South Africa to 115 before Ashwin bowled du Plessis off a miscued sweep.

Duminy, who hit three sixes and a four, added another 43 for the unbroken fifth wicket with Andrew Miller (23 not out) to help South Africa add 106 in the last ten overs.

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, India's most successful bowler in the Super-10 stage, went for 36 runs in his three overs without taking a wicket.


12 comments so far

  • Kohli is the most obnoxious man to step onto a cricket field that I can remember. Arrogant just isn't the righ word. But good to see that an Indian team that has a winning percentage of 8% as soon as it steps away from the local region is now one step away from being a world champion. Is there any other sport in the world where a team can lose almost every game as soon as conditions do not suit it and be vying for "champion"?

    Date and time
    April 05, 2014, 2:36PM
    • JJ: I can't agree on Kohli.
      Harbhajan at his peak was far more obnoxious. Despite the deserved bad wrap Aussies get for sledging, this guy was on another level, and it seemed to be the reverse racism sacred cow thing that he was allowed to get away with crap with impunity. Symonds sledge case in point.

      The new India is very cocky in a 70's macho, gold chain rock star kind of way. But agree they can't be taken seriously until they take playing away from home seriously. A long culture of severely doctored test pitches has, like England most recently, cost them and the game in the larger scheme o things. It is simply another form o corruption IMO.

      Date and time
      April 05, 2014, 9:24PM
    • Hope you slept ok last night jj. You sound a little disturbed mate.

      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 1:19AM
    • Wow Mr. JJ, Grapes really are sour!!!!

      s for your "Champion" Aussie side, they failed to win a single game "outside their suitable conditions" as well.

      So just suck it up.

      We'll see who wins the WC in Australia. It won't be Australia for sure, mark my words.

      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 2:53AM
    • @JJ you've obviously forgotten about Warner's antics from only a few months back, or Maxwell's behaviour during the SL T20 or Captain Clarke in the Ashes in Aus threatening Anderson…sorry that's just fine as they are Aussies right? Just some friendly banter?? Remind me of the Australian teams form following their tour to Ind? Just coz they won the Ashes IN Aus (BTW even Netherlands beat Eng) and 1 good tour of SA (mainly due to 1 good bowlers form) doesn't exactly make them world beaters. Sour grapes much? Learn to acknowledge good performance, just as the rest of the world has done of the Aus teams in the past.

      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 5:23PM
    • hi JJ, paying conditions obviously affect the performance of players. Players usually perform better in their home conditions which they are familiar to and suit them. This is applicable to any player or team or for that matter any Sport. Peat Sampras the Great Tennis champion , never won a French Open because the Playing conditions in clay court does suit him. We still admire him as a great Champion. No cricket team in this world performs equally well and both Home and foreign conditions. It is the technique and spirit of the Sport that matters.

      Crickete lover
      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 5:51PM
  • JJ , I've been saying that forever, and who would have projected a sub continent winner on the sub continent...only all with any sense of reality of course. Interestingly , only England have won a T20 game against the finalists this tournament!!

    Over the years , no team seems to travel well but I agree that India, Pakistan and England never really get up motivationally for an away series. Its just not in the physcy!!

    Date and time
    April 05, 2014, 9:33PM
    • This 'can't win outside home conditions' is so trite. India won a World Cup and Champions Trophy in England, a World T20 in South Africa, and a World Championship of Cricket in Australia.

      Result-wise, India is still the most accomplished LOI team outside of Australia in the past 3 decades. We may often suck in bilaterals abroad, but we demonstrate big tournament temperament that most other teams don't. It's not easy playing in the pressure of home conditions, because the expectations are vastly higher, balancing out any familiarity with the turf.

      As for Kohli, we love him because his attitude is... Australian. We recognize that because we've faced Australia and dealt with the 'tude. Australians themselves are just seeing their attitude in a mirror when it comes to him, and they hate it.

      Date and time
      April 06, 2014, 8:33AM
      • I can remember equally obnoxious ones - all were or are in the Australian team.

        Date and time
        April 06, 2014, 9:39AM
        • As you have admitted you have a short memory. India won the champions trophy last year in England.

          Sam G K
          Date and time
          April 06, 2014, 12:49PM

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