Virat Kohli’s troops couldn’t have produced a better performance against South Africa in their last group game of ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and put South Africa to bat first on a bright, sunny day at the Oval. Both India and South Africa are hunting to make a place in the semi-finals of this Champions Trophy and the winner in this clash would march in the semi-final stage while the other will bow out of the tournament.
South African openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock laid the foundation after they put on a stand of 76 runs for the first wicket but the Indian bowlers soon pushed the Proteas on backfoot. Ashwin who got to play his first game in this edition of the tournament gave India the first breakthrough when he removed Hashim Amla for 35 after the right-handed batsman tried to slash an outside off-stump delivery but edged it to give a catch to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.
Faf du Plessis came in at number three and stitched a partnership of 40 runs for the second wicket with De Kock. The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman was shown the exit gates when he was on 53 by Ravindra Jadeja. De Kock tried to slog Jadeja but completely missed the delivery that disturbed the woodwork behind him. The misery continued for South Africa as they lost a couple of more wickets in quick succession. AB de Villiers was sent back in the hut of a run-out for 16 after a brilliant display of fielding from Hardik Pandya.
Soon after the skipper’s dismissal, another mix up took place and this time it was between David Miller and du Plessis. Both batsmen ran to the same end after a yes-no call but du Plessis made his ground first and Miller, as a result, had to depart for a personal score of 1.
South Africa lost wickets at the equal interval and were left tottering at 178/8. The AB de Villiers-led side managed 191 in 44.3 overs after Imran Tahir became a victim of another mix up between South African batsmen on the field. South Africa lost 8 wickets in a span of 51 runs. For India, it was Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah who scalped two wickets apiece.
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