India and South Africa played the last of the Super 8s game in a bid to find the last team to qualify for the semis. Earlier in the day, Australia just managed to scrape through on net run rate after they lost to Pakistan by 32 runs. This put Pakistan in a favourable position to go into the semis as the second team from the group as they waited for South Africa to beat India. After Australia’s poor performance, India had their task cut out and had to either win by a margin of 31 runs or 24 balls to spare. They managed to win but only by a run that resulted in their exit. Here are some of the moments from the game.
MSD on the back foot: Indian captain MS Dhoni was on the back foot even before the game began. His team would have been better off trying to chase a total in 16 overs rather than defend one and win by a 31 run margin. But, AB De Villiers won the toss and put India in to bat. India, thus, began on a wrong footing.
Gambhir’s wicket: Gautam Gambhir has been completely out-of-sorts and his wicket in this game was a clear evidence. Tentative as ever, Gambhir was struggling to get off to a good start in a game where he was expected to play a lot more aggressively than he generally does. Batting on 8 off 11 deliveries, he stepped out, made some room for himself to try and cut a delivery off Morne Morkel that was bowled at a pace of 146 kmph that crash onto his middle stump.
Sehwag’s moment of madness: The stage was set for Sehwag to give India a big score and in the process a spot in the semis but a moment of madness cost him his wicket. When he came down the track and launched Robin Peterson for a huge six over long on, Indian fans all over the world thought this could be his game – but then, it wasn’t and even Peterson was aware of it. He came down the track once again for a mighty heave but Peterson beat him in the air and speed, as the ball crashed onto the stumps.
Virat failure: Virat Kohli has had a sensational year with the bat. The kind of maturity he has shown in different crunch situations with the bat has been commendable. Against Australia and South Africa, Virat failed to deliver the goods in the midst of all the expectations. While it is still early days, Kohli looks to be the next big thing in world cricket.
Yuvi the bowler: Yuvraj Singh‘s reflexes with the bat are slightly questionable despite the big sixes he hit, but what’s unbelievable is his effectiveness with the ball. After the end of the powerplay, Dhoni threw the ball to Yuvraj as he struck with his very first delivery to clean up AB De Villiers. It came at a time when Dhoni was still hoping to sneak into the semis past Pakistan.
Faf’s first impression: Faf du Plessis did get his chance replacing an out-of-form Richard Levi as he made the most of his first outing in the tournament. Despite having a low total of 151 to chase, and more importantly 121 to take India out of the tournament, the team lost early wickets and looked like they would choke and give India a famous win. However, this hard hitting number four scored 65 off just 38 deliveries.
1-run victory: This game has to be undoubtedly the most inconsequential 1 run victory. A great narrow win for one team, only to result in the ouster of both the teams that played. India can go back with heads held high but would’ve loved to made it to the semis. Meanwhile, South Africa, with no wins in 3 super 8 matches, have a lot of soul searching to do.