The Champions Trophy has been a great spectacle we have had so many great matches going on, and India vs. South Africa turned into a crunch game for both teams as they both had to win this match to progress as all four teams in Group B had 2 points each.
Pressure and South Africa do not go well together they have folded under pressure numerous times, and this match would define whether South Africa can in fact handle the pressure or not. India won the toss and put South Africa into bat, a clever move by India as they are good at chasing the runs. Amla and De Kock came to the crease to bat and they had a good start a slow but steady start.
Everyone thought that South Africa could set a good score on the board and challenge India. Well alas another story was written altogether, after that steady start Amla departed on 35 runs. The Indian bowlers were bowling well, and had a tight control of the match the pressure was beginning to tell on South Africa as soon after De Kock was out. There were two new batsmen at the crease Du Plessis and De Villiers but the pressure was building on South Africa. They needed more runs on the board, and had hardly scored any boundaries either throughout their innings. The Indian bowlers were proving themselves too strong for South Africa.
Just went you thought De Villiers and Du Plessis can add to the runs tally De Villiers is run-out. Soon after Miller comes to crease and what ensues next was one of the most bizarre run-out scenarios. Du Plessis had called for the run and that is when they find themselves in trouble. Both the batsman ends up running to the same side of the batting pitch. In the end, it was Miller who was run out. From then on, the innings went into a downward spiral and they just lost wickets at regular intervals and folded for 191 runs in 44.3 overs. They didn’t even bat till the end the end of their allotted overs. Kumar had been the best bowler for India he had made sure, that in the first few overs South Africa struggled to score the runs.
India knew the score to chase, and this was their game to lose now. India handled the pressure of a crunch game better than South Africa. They started steadily and slowly losing the wicket of Sharma early on, but Dhawan and Kohli played sensibly to lay down the foundation for their team. Kohli and Dhawan had a field day with the South African bowlers once they were settled in, they were scoring boundaries around the ground.
They mainly targeted Morris and Morkel who were not bowling their best, Rabada did the best he could in the situation and bowled exceptionally well he is the only bowler who was economical for South Africa. Nonetheless Kohli and Dhawan foraged ahead and it was not long before Dhawan scored his half century and the crowd erupted. Dhawan was the main aggressor of the two batsmen but he played a fine innings and departed for 78 runs. By then the game was entirely in India’s favour and they were cruising along Kohli got to his half century and he played a captain’s knock.
India had won the match by 8 wickets they thoroughly outplayed South Africa in all departments. South Africa’s fielding was not up to par either they missed out on so many opportunities and they had underperformed in all departments batting, bowling and fielding. India outplayed them in all areas and now South Africa once again will need to address those questions why do they always fold under pressure and India will be facing Bangladesh in the semi-final which is being held at Edgbaston.