T20WC24: Kohli, Suryakumar, Proteas give inspired India 2nd T20 title

They choked! Again! At the last hurdle, just the wrong time!

At just the right time, struggling star batsman Virat Kohli found his form to help 2007 Champions India sneak past South Africa by seven runs at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.

India players celebrate after claiming the ICC T20 World Cup trophy with a narrow win over South Africa at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 29 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

The former skipper’s carefully constructed 76 (59 balls, 2×6, 6×4) pushed India to 176. The Proteas could only manage 169—despite needing only 28 off the last 24 balls with six wickets in hand!

Prior to the start of the game, the Indian skipper urged his team to remain calm and composed in their quest for a second ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title.

“We’ve been very calm as a team,” he had said after Thursday’s emphatic 68-run semifinal win over England in Guyana. “We do understand the occasion (in the final) but for us, it’s important to keep calm.”

And when the middle order looked like claiming their first title for Aidan Markram’s unbeaten-before-today South Africa, they were denied by the skill and composure of Rohit Sharma’s calm team.

India captain Rohit Sharma celebrates after helping his team to the ICC T20 World Cup title at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 29 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Also contributing was the quick thinking of  Suryakumar Yadav, who completed a magnificent catch on the boundary. And the loss of composure by the seemingly hyper South Africans, arguably put off their game by the fear of winning.

Markram, who had made no public call for calm and composure, stopped short of using the C-word. But he admitted that it had been his team’s game to lose.

“We never got comfortable,” said Markram. “Things happened quickly at the back end but we got into a great position to prove we were worthy finalists.”

“[I am] gutted for the time being but incredibly proud… It was a chaseable total; we batted well, came down to the wire. Gutted not to get over the line.”

South Africa batsman Heinrich Klaasen (right) hit 52 from 27 balls in their ICC T20 World Cup final clash with India at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 29 June 2024.
But it was not enough to lead his team to victory.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Sharma attributed his team’s success to “a lot of behind the scenes [work], not what we did today.”

It was, he said, “a perfect example [that] guys understand when the pressure is on what needs to be done.”

At 34 for 3 in the fifth over, it was a big ask. Not for Kohli. As he has often done on the big occasion, King Kohli delivered.

India cricketers Virat Kohli (left) and Hardik Pandya get excited during the ICC T20 World Cup final at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 29 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

“No one was in doubt about the form of Virat,” Sharma said after the game, “on top of his game for the last 15 years. Come the big occasion, big players stand up. Crucial to hold that end for the others to play around him… He did that perfectly.”

With India opting to bat, Man-of-the-Match Kohli already announced his return to form with three blistering fours in the first over. But the rapid dismissals of Sharma and Pant, largely responsible for Thursday’s semifinal win, and then 3600-scorer Yadav, called for caution.

With Axar Patel for company, Kohli coaxed run by slow run out of the tight South African bowling, encouraging Axar (47, 31b, 4×6, 1×4) to go for broke whenever the opportunity presented itself.

India star Virat Kohli (right) bats in the ICC T20 World Cup final while South Africa captain Quinton de Kock watches on at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 29 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock ended the flourishing partnership with a moment of brilliance.

He ran to his left from behind the stumps, rapidly collected the ball and found Patel, more concerned about Kohli’s safety, just short with his direct hit at the bowler’s end. That made the score 106 for 4 in the 14th over and might have forced an Indian adjustment. It did not.

New batsman Shivam Dube (16b, 1×6, 3×4)  clouted Marco Jansen and Shamsi over and to the boundary and Kohli smashed a six and a four off Rabada. Seventy came off the remaining six-and-a-half overs and 57 off the next five, when Kohli finally fell.

South Africa bowler Keshav Maharaj (left) celebrates a wicket with his captain Aiden Markram during the ICC T20 World Cup final at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 29 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

When South Africa batted, Heinrich Klaasen (52, 27b, 5×6, 2×4) and Tristan Stubbs (31, 21b, 1 x6) 3×4) took the game away from India. And de Kock helped keep the tempo up, reducing the deficit to 70 after Stubbs left, bowled by Axar with just over 100 more needed for victory.

Klaasen was particularly severe on the “gun spinners” (as Rohit described Axar (1/49) and Kuldeep Yadav (0/45) after the England game). But Rohit held his quicks back.

Bumrah had bowled Hendricks early and Arshdeep induced an edge from Markram for Pant to make it 12 for 2. But the skipper held him back.

India star bowler Jasprit Bumrah.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

At 106 for 4, de Kock went, Arshdeep inducing the aerial pull which Kuldeep Yadav snaffled at long-leg.

Rohit eventually went back to Hardik for the 17th over. The first ball was wide of a second set of stumps. Klaasen—his concentration perhaps broken by a longish delay for Pant to get attention on a dinky knee—chased it.

Pant did the rest, ending a fifth wicket stand with David Miller worth 45 in just four overs.

India fielder Kuldeep Singh hangs on to prompt the dismissal of South Africa batsman Quinton de Kock during the ICC T20 World Cup final at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 29 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Belatedly, Rohit called up Bumrah for his last over, the 18th. He conceded only two runs. And bowled Jansen with the fourth ball..

In the 19th, Miller and Keshav Maharaj could get only four off Arshdeep. That left the Proteas needing 16 off the last over.

Going for broke, Miller swung Hardik’s first ball into the sky at wide long-off. Racing to his left mere millimetres inside the boundary cushion, Sky clung onto the ball, lobbed it into the air inside the cushions, touched down outside, leapt into the air and, having reclaimed the ball in mid-air, landed safely inside the cushions once more.

South Africa batsman David Miller tries to come to grips with his team’s narrow defeat to India in the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup final at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 29 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

It would have been a fitting end to a tournament that had provided satisfaction and thrills galore. But with eight still needed off the last two balls, Rabada too tried to clear Sky on the boundary.

He too failed. A jubilant Sky swallowed the catch but did not choke on it.

The Proteas had done that.

India captain Rohit Sharma plants his country’s flag into the Kensington Oval earth after his team’s seven run win over South Africa in the ICC T20 World Cup final in Barbados on 29 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Summarised scores

Toss: India

India: 176 for 7 (20 overs) (Virat Kohli 76, Axar Patel 47, Shivam Dube 27; Keshav Maharaj 2/23, Anrich Nortje 2/26)

South Africa: 169 for 8 (20 overs) (Heinrich Klaasen 52, Quinton de Kock 39, Tristan Stubbs 31, David Miller 21; Hardik Pandya 3/20, Jasprit Bumrah 2/18, Arshdeep Singh 2/20)

Player-of-the-Match: Virat Kohli

Player-of-the-series: Jasprit Bumrah

Result: India win by 7 runs, claim second ICC T20 World Cup title.

More from Wired868
Vaneisa: T20WC24 thrills, revived WI interests—but Big Three concerns linger

Both of the semi-final matches in this T20 World Cup were demolitions. The match between Afghanistan and South Africa was Read more

T20WC24: India avenge 2022 England defeat; set up final clash of unbeaten teams

A measured third-wicket partnership of 73 between skipper Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav put India in the driver’s seat in Read more

T20WC24: Shamsi, Jansen demolish Afghanistan; South Africa coast into first final

Riding high after qualifying for their first ever World Cup semi-final, Afghanistan were yesterday brought very low—56 all out—by South Read more

T20WC24: WI eliminated; valiant Chase and Alzarri fail to rein in Proteas, after batsmen misfire

West Indies are out of the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup. On a night interrupted by showers in Antigua, it Read more

Vaneisa: Why resurgent West Indies should still be mindful of USA Cricket’s rise

We lost the first 2024 ICC T20 World Cup Super Eight match against England in a clinical encounter that brought Read more

T20WC24: WI live in Hope, as USA chastened in heavy loss by 9 wkts and 55 balls

Opener Shai Hope posted his best-ever T20I score of 82 not out at his hometown in Bridgetown last night, as Read more

Check Also

Vaneisa: T20WC24 thrills, revived WI interests—but Big Three concerns linger

Both of the semi-final matches in this T20 World Cup were demolitions. The match between …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.