By BV Swagath
Virat Kohli’s majestic knock carried India into the Finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2014. India despite chasing a high target of 173 defeated South Africa comprehensively by 6 wickets with five balls to spare in the second Semi Final at Dhaka tonight. Team India will face Sri Lanka in the final on Sunday at the Dhaka.
Batting first, SA got off to a good start with Hashim Amla chipping in with 22 from 16 balls. Skipper Faf du Plessis laid the foundation with a crucial knock of 58 from 41 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes. JP Duminy with 45 not out from 40 balls and David Miller with 23* from 12 balls took the South Africans to 172 for 4.
R Ashwin bowled superbly taking three vital wickets for 22 runs in his 4 overs. Ashwin also got the big wicket of AB de Villiers in the 16th over which saved some important runs for India.
The run chase was nicely set up by openers Rohit Sharma (24 from 13 balls) and Ajinkya Rahane (32 from 30 balls). When both the openers departed, India was well set at 77 for 2 in the 10th over. Virat Kohli was determined to consolidate the Indian innings and also to stay right till the end.
Kohli added 56 runs with Yuvraj Singh (18 from 17 balls) to take India within striking distance. In the end, there was a stiff task for India with 40 to get from 24 balls. Suresh Raina made it easy for Kohli by playing a cameo of 21 from 10 balls. Kohli finished the game with an unbeaten 72 from 44 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes.
Toss and Teams: South Africa have won the toss and chose to bat first in the 2nd Semi Final against India at Dhaka. The winner of this game will meet Sri Lanka in the Finals of the ICC World T20 2014 on Sunday.
Team India has gone in with the same team that defeated Australia which means there is no Shikhar Dhawan or Mohammed Shami in the XI. South Africa have made one change with their Captain Faf du Plessis coming back in the place of Farhaan Behardien.
India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma
South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (C), JP Duminy, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Dale Steyn, Beuran Hendricks, Wayne Parnell, Imran Tahir