India v South Africa, Super Eights, World Twenty20, Colombo October 2, 2012

India's one-run win not big enough to qualify


India 152 for 6 (Raina 45, Peterson 2-25, M Morkel 2-28) beat South Africa 151 (Du Plessis 65, Zaheer 3-22, Yuvraj 2-23)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa have had a few of their parties cruelly crashed by teams world over, but today they spoiled India's when it was only a small gathering. Having been knocked out of the World Twenty20 because Pakistan beat Australia, South Africa won the toss India wanted to win most, kept India down to 152, and passed 121, ensuring India would be eliminated from the tournament on net run rate.

India would have loved to chase and know what they needed to do with the bat to push their net run rate of -0.452 over Pakistan's 0.273, who are now through to the semi-final. However, batting first, all India could hope of doing was set up a huge total and try to win by a margin of around 30. South Africa's bowling, though, was too strong to clobber.

It was not all fun and games for South Africa either. Faf du Plessis laid bare the flaws in their strategy in the games leading up to their final inconsequential match. Watching du Plessis score a fluent 65 off 38, South Africa's think tank would have felt a surge of mixed emotions. After du Plessis got out, all but ensuring India's ouster, that think tank would have watched in horror as the last five wickets fell for 24 runs and South Africa lost by one run. Another heartbreaking loss ended arguably their worst campaign at a World Cup, across formats. It was Gary Kirsten's ninth defeat in nine matches as coach in World Twenty20 Super Eights.

The scenes towards the end were in contrast to the ones seen after the day's first match at the venue. After that game, both Australia - assured of semi-final qualification - and Pakistan - very close to it - went off smiling, never mind the actual result. Both India and South Africa were dejected, never mind the result.

After their innings, however, India had given themselves a decent chance of staying alive, thanks to a Suresh Raina-led recovery from 36 for 3. Around Raina, Yuvraj Singh hit 21 off 15 in the middle overs to boost India, and the finishing touches were provided by MS Dhoni, who squeezed out an unbeaten 23 off 13 in his unorthodox way.

India's openers looked too keen to hit, and fell inside the Powerplay. Morne Morkel's disconcerting length got Gautam Gambhir to play on. Virender Sehwag hit Robin Peterson for a six, but swung all around an even slower delivery to lose his off stump the next ball. In between those wickets, Virat Kohli was dismissed, strangled down the leg side by Jacques Kallis.

Yuvraj then displayed the silken touch he had before he left the game with illness, lofting two of the better-timed sixes. He got too ambitious, though, trying to whip a full Morkel delivery from the off-stump line and was bowled. Rohit Sharma once again scored a disappointing 25 off 27 before falling lbw to a poor sweep.

Raina, though, looked good right from the start, and played good-looking extra-cover drives to give India some momentum. Dhoni joined him with brute power, and the two combined to take an even 40 off the last four overs. Given the way their spinners have performed in the tournament, India would have entertained thoughts of the improbable, but they bowled six overs of seam at the top of the innings.

They took two early wickets when South Africa were tentative, but once the industrious du Plessis began charging at Zaheer and Irfan, the zing was lost. Yuvraj revived India's hopes with a wicket first ball, but du Plessis was batting on a different plane. Every shot he played seemed to yield results, and the odd mis-hit would find a way to go for couples. India's fielding didn't help.

Once du Plessis fell with the score at 95 for 4 in the 13th over, though, India were hoping for one of those infamous South African collapses. And they were just hoping, which showed in the defensive fields and Ashwin being kept for three overs out of the last seven, when there was practically nothing left to play for.

The collapse arrived, but it was too late for India. In the 17th over, with wickets falling, South Africa reached 122, much to the joy of the thousands of Pakistan supporters in the ground.

The game took a surreal turn after that. So close run it was, yet so devoid of edge. It came down to 14 required off the last over. Balaji bowled length; Albie Morkel smacked him for six, and was bowled next ball. Albie's younger brother Morne was the No. 11. He got a long hop from Balaji, and deposited it in the stands. India were about to lose this one, this was to be a dreadful evening for them. However, the final mistake was South Africa's, and Morne Morkel missed a straight length ball and was bowled.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    It is unfortunate that Dohni don't have the luxury Hafiz have and that is bowling resources.Pakistan can bowl 20 overs through spinners. No country can do that in this tournament.

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    The new India selectors need to locate replacements for Sachin, Viru, Sehwag, Rohit (for this format), Zaheer (despite some decent performance in a couple of matches, his fielding and batting are over the hill, even for a bowler), and persist with and groom a handful of young pacers and spinners. For spinning dept, we are just managing with two batsmen-spinners ( don't want to call them all-rounders, in the true sense of the term)-- Yuvraj & Ashwin.

  • Ian on October 3, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    Well played India, and congrats to Pakistan - hope either you guys or the West Indies go all the way!! I am curious, though - was the pitch a "bowl first" pitch, or is bowling first a usual tactic due to D/L fears? I always thought teams liked to bat first, and I can't see South Africa choosing to bowl first just to spite India's chances of qualifying when they themselves have nothing to gain.

  • Dummy4 on October 3, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    I wonder why there is no add comemts in Pak vs Aus match report ?

  • James on October 3, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    Unlucky for India going out on run rate but it has to be asked, what happened to SA? Not a single point! I think SL are favorites to win from here.

  • TR on October 3, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    Gents, please note this data. We all know India played too slowly at the later half of their innings against Pak which hurt them in the NRR. Exactly how fast India should have played against Pak ?? India needed 129 to win and they took 17 overs to score that. If Ind had finished that score in 13 overs India would be in SF now. My calculation is of course after the fact. But Dhoni & co should have known to score 129 as fast as possible to take the NRR advantage even at the cost of more wickets. Most teams batting second chasing low score, would try ~ 10 rpo, but not India. Such is India's management and advisers! (I dont expect Dhoni to do the math. It is not his job). Even if India had managed 9 rpo, Aus would have found it difficult to give away this much advantage to Pak in the Aus-Pak match which would have brought the NRR closer and better chances. Every one deserves only to the extent of his hard work.

  • ADNAN on October 3, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    why would australia avoid playing india when they beat india on regular basis, they win against india more than they win against pakistan. they usually struggle against pakistan and lose to pakistan and sri lanka more than they lose to india.

  • ADNAN on October 2, 2012, 23:57 GMT

    australia struggled against pakistan in UAE they bowled out in the first t20I under 100 and in the 2nd t20I they lost in super over which they had it won then won the meaningless last t20I so they lost the series 1-2.Then today again they struggled against pakistan bowling attack they lost early wickets so they were making sure their runrate stays over pakistan and they qualify for the semis and when they reached 112 they celebrated it nothing wrong with it. and about who would australia prefer to face in the final? think about it again ? they chased down indias 140 runs inside 15 overs u all watch cricket and know cricket seriously? they would rather face india over pakistan any day!

  • Rahul on October 2, 2012, 23:55 GMT

    As an Indian fan, I am disappointed with the format for this year's world cup. Here is my take on the semi-final: 1. Fully deserving: Sri Lanka (3 good wins, with different players stepping up) 2. Next Best: Australia, India and Pakistan (Aus relied too heavily on Shane Watson but got results, India and Pakistan should have both got through but were unfortunately in the same group; India's only loss came against a marauding Watson and Pakistan's only loss against their bogey team) 3. Just about good: West Indies and New Zealand (WI did not deserve to defeat NZ when they kept having batting collapses, they just got lucky with the grouping. NZ deserved it with two super overs but they were unlucky) 4. Poor performers: South Africa and England (just shockingly poor performances from two of the most balanced teams in the competition)

  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    haha what i should ? come on guys before todays match india and pak wer on -.43 and -.45 offcourse not big defference .... australia who was know for his great chases in tournament pakistan outclassed them by 30+ and india won by 1 run and that was also mistake from morkels stupid batting 2 balls 2 runs even if they put bat they mightt get lol why iam hearing 4 out 5 4time all out ....pak lso played against SA and AUSSIEs same with india who won better ? india didnt won from pak with quick chase pak deserves the place in semis....and everybody know hwo loves cricket pakistan are cornered tigers and when wht they do no one can predict abut it now stop crying on rain and bla bla factor .... before match australia was +1.7 and where pak brought them....did india out classed aussies? all we got 3 games and results were on the behalf of 3 games not on 1....aus chase 140 in less than 15 and pak's 150 id something big even they hardly chased 112 may the best team win

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