India v South Africa, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval June 11, 2017

Disciplined India run dysfunctional South Africa out

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India 193 for 2 (Dhawan 78, Kohli 76*) beat South Africa 191 (De Kock 53, Bhuvneshwar 2-23, Bumah 2-28) by x wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Tait: South Africa lacked someone with calmness when batting

Faf du Plessis scored 36 in the quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup. He scored 36 again in the virtual quarter-final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. On both those occasions, he was involved in the run-out of AB de Villiers. On both occasions the run-out proved to be the moment the match went away from them. Du Plessis went on to run David Miller out as well, and South Africa contrived to lose eight wickets for 51 runs from 140 for 2 in the 29th over.

It will be all the more heartbreaking for South Africa that on a used pitch, slower than the ones The Oval has laid out, 275 might have turned out to be a pretty competitive total, but chasing 192, India could take their time when South Africa asked questions of them, and then Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli sealed their semi-final spot in style.

India didn't need to indulge in the mind games that New Zealand resorted to six years ago; they were just excellent with their defensive bowling in the first half, took the run-outs on offer, and then circled in for the kill with aggressive bowling changes. A measure of their discipline was how Quinton de Kock scored just five runs out of 53 square or behind square on the off side; one of them was a reverse sweep. India fell short of being magical in the field, but they showed they were not to be pushed around, reaching six run-outs, the highest in this tournament.

Kohli was relieved when he won the toss and passed the onus of how hard to go in the middle overs when setting a target to South Africa. The ball refused to swing or seam once again, but India still thrived by bowling to contain. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah cramped de Kock up, giving him nothing outside off. Bhuvneshwar even brought the third man up to afford a deep point, which resulted in the batsman's failed attempts to drag the ball to leg from just outside off. Hashim Amla struggled to time the ball, which was a sign the pitch was slow, and there was a need to recalibrate their total.

By the time Amla walked across and took a risk to hit Hardik Pandya for a six - his first boundary in 25 balls - India had kept South Africa down to 52 in 14 overs. There were hardly any bad balls. Three of those 14 overs were bowled by R Ashwin, coming back into the side ahead of Umesh Yadav. Ashwin got Amla when he went back to hit a fullish ball square instead of hitting cover. MS Dhoni accepted the thick deflection coolly.

Du Plessis made a fluent start to his innings, scoring off each of the first seven deliveries he faced. The energy rubbed on to de Kock, who showed remarkable patience in not playing low-percentage cricket. The run-rate gradually went up from 3.5 in 10 overs to 4.7 in 20 to 4.83 in 24. De Kock reached 50 for the sixth time against India - his previous five had been hundreds - and South Africa were back on course. Then Ravindra Jadeja, fresh from an ordinary game against Sri Lanka, began his fifth over. The room outside off remained elusive, and finally the low-percentage sweep arrived, claiming de Kock.

De Villiers and du Plessis started promisingly, adding 24 off 23 without breaking a sweat. Then du Plessis hit to point, and de Villiers, coming off a hamstring niggle, didn't shout no. The call here was the non-striker's, de Villiers was well within his rights to send du Plessis back, but he didn't. The big dive in the end did nothing for him.

In the next over, du Plessis got a ball to the left of Jasprit Bumrah, India's weakest fielder, at short third man. Du Plessis set off for the run, then stopped, then set off again, and by now David Miller just responded. Suddenly, though, du Plessis made a U-turn and beat Miller to the striker's end. Bumrah's throw was bad, but that worked in India's favour as they completed an easy run-out at the non-striker's.

Du Plessis was on 27 off 31 when de Villiers was run out. He managed nine off the next 18 before chopping Pandya on in a manner identical to his dismissal against Pakistan. India could have easily set into template and bowled their spinners out. However, they bowled spin at one end and actively looked for wickets at the other. And the wickets arrived: Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo to Bumrah, and Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel to successive Bhuvneshwar deliveries.

Just to sum up how dysfunctional South Africa had been, last man in Imran Tahir was run-out too, not clear enough in his mind that it was his job to give the strike to JP Duminy, who was left unbeaten on 20. South Africa were bowled out with 33 balls unused.

Run-outs seemed contagious as India got off the mark with a suicidal run. Miller missed the stumps, and Dhawan batted on. Rohit Sharma played a rare loose shot early in the innings to bring Kohli out in the sixth over. A string of 17 dots followed as Rabada and Morkel found some spongy bounce from the slow pitch. South Africa packed the region behind square with two slips and a gully for Kohli. A bigger chase might have brought about a big shot but Kohli just dropped one wide of cover and went to the other end. Dhawan took charge of the chase, and as is his habit, Kohli remained not out at the end.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • HDG1978 on June 13, 2017, 16:23 GMT

    Actually meant 1st SF in my earlier post.An India-England final with India winning would be doubly sweet as that would mean India going through 2 consecutive Champions Trophy tournaments both in England in 2013 & 2017 undefeated. 2 back to back titles would take India to 6 ICC titles behind leaders Australia with 7 ICC titles.Also it would mean India would emulate Australia,who have also won back to back CT titles in India in 2006 & SA in 2009.All the best Team India.Looking forward to an exciting 1st SF tomorrow between hosts England in red hot form and an unpredictable meeting for the 1st time in an ICC KO match since the 1992 WC final in Melbourne won by Pakistan.

  • HDG1978 on June 13, 2017, 15:32 GMT

    A complete performance from India but more disappointing was the lack of fight shown by the No.1 ODI side SA that faltered once again for the umpteenth time in an ICC event.This 1st round exit at CT 2017 will rankle Protea fans even if their team completes a hat trick of Test series wins in England in the upcoming Test series. Pandya considered undeserving or raw by fans like me dealt SA a body blow with the wicket of Du Plessis after the SA batting lynch pin had ran out 2 important partners in De Villiers & Miller to trigger a SA collapse from 140/2 to 191 all out (51/8).India should approach the SF against Bangladesh with caution not taking the opposition lightly as they had beaten WC 2015 runners up NZ twice recently and were quite competitive against tournament favorites & hosts England.Since Pakistan is a surprise,won't be surprised at a one-sided 1st final where even Pak may prevail though England are favorites. Looking forward to a repeat of 2013 CT with an India-England final.

  • Virs_Ferrari on June 13, 2017, 13:05 GMT

    I dont know why so many people are against Hardik Pandya. He is an excellent seam bowling allrounder which India desperately need. His ODI econ rate is 5.8 , for comparison Umesh Yadavs is 6.0 , Shami is 5.5. Even the highly coveted ben stokes has an econ rate of 6+. Hardiks current ODI SR is 130 and average is 47. He is by far the best seaming allrounder in India at the moment.

  • dark sentinel on June 13, 2017, 12:00 GMT

    @cricfan66521146 can u please enlighten me on those 7 matches which india didn't deserve to win.and don't add dropped catches in them as that is your own team's fault

  • dark sentinel on June 13, 2017, 11:52 GMT

    against bd if the pitch is suited for batting then we have to bring in shami for either pandya or jadhav.both are good but an extra bowler will be useful.india should not take ban lightly for they can surprise us.

  • BanglaBandhu on June 13, 2017, 4:17 GMT

    CRICFAN2700057540 ON JUNE 13, 2017, 3:18 GMT: BD just beat NZL overseas twice and is the only team that scored over 300 runs against England in the tournament so far. BD cricket is on the rise having started winning, in T20s, ODIs and Test over the last two years increasing their ranking from 10 to 6. Whose really in denial???

  • cosair on June 13, 2017, 3:39 GMT

    I would suggest against BD that India include Shami in place of Ashwin. India has spin options in other players and would be better off with the pacer than a spinner. If this combination works than that should be the team at the finals, assuming that India will beat BD.

  • cricfan2700057540 on June 13, 2017, 3:18 GMT

    Bangladesh are lucky to make it to semis at the expense of Australia thanks to the rain. If it was not for the rain they would have lost to aussies. They may have beaten New Zealand but not deserving semi finalists. As always the BD fans are always in denial mode and ready to accept their team is still not good enough overseas.

  • cric_frank on June 13, 2017, 1:26 GMT

    India should be cautious against BD not merely because they won against NZ but because they can surprise big teams in major tournaments. Not sure what Kohli sees in Pandya but he should be dropped in favor of a batsman/bowler. His batting mostly has not been required and as a bowler gives away runs worse than a part-timer. Any specialist won't hurt especially when you require one in an event of a collapse. KD Karthik or Rahane should come in place of Pandya.

  • Anand_S on June 12, 2017, 22:00 GMT

    Clinical performance by India. Good chance of another India vs England final. Many similarities to CT 2013. Then India came into semis with 6 points and followed by a green jersey team (SA) with 3 points like Bangladesh has 3 points in this tournament. In the other group England and SL had 4 points each and last two games were virtual QFs. The only team to beat the group topper England was SL chasing a big total (294 was a big total in 2013) just like SL toppled the group topper India this time chasing a big total. This time England is likely to win. So looks like an England win this time if the CT 2013 trend continues

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