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India ends 13-year World Cup drought under sprinkling skies of Barbados

By: Aditya Ahuja 

India broke their 13-year World Cup drought after defeating first-time finalists South Africa by seven runs in the 2024 T20 World Cup final.

Seventeen years after their inaugural T20 World Cup victory in 2007, India lifted their second trophy in a hard-fought contest under the spitting skies of Barbados.

India’s historic win rode on stellar display of death bowling from pace trio Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh, and Hardik Pandya, complemented by mature and calculated innings from Virat Kohli and Axar Patel.

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India faced early setbacks with the dismissals of captain Rohit Sharma (9), wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (0), and Suryakumar Yadav (3) within the powerplay.

At 34/3 after 5.3 overs, the onus was on Virat Kohli, who had struggled for form earlier in the tournament. Kohli found a stable partner in Axar Patel, promoted to No. 5.

The duo forged a crucial 72-run partnership off 54 deliveries before a sharp piece of fielding by South Africa’s Quinton de Kock ended Patel’s knock of a lifetime.

Kohli continued to anchor the innings, while Shivam Dube made brisk 27 to propel India to an above par total of 176/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

In pursuit of 177, South Africa stumbled early, losing key wickets to pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh, who dismissed Reeza Hendricks (4) and captain Aiden Markram (4) respectively.

Tristan Stubbs and Quinton de Kock steadied the ship with a counter-attacking partnership. However, Axar Patel provided India with a much-needed breakthrough by cleaning up Stubbs (31) against the run of play.

Heinrich Klaasen then launched an assault on the Indian spinners. Despite his quickfire innings, Arshdeep Singh’s pace ended Klaasen’s partnership with de Kock, trapping the latter at square.

Miller eased the pressure with a four and six against Kuldeep. The Proteas w3r3 123/4 in 14 overs, needing 54 in the final six overs.

Axar was demolished in the 15th over, being smashed for two fours and two sixes by Klaasen. At the end of this over, SA needed 30 in 30 balls.

Klaasen reached his 50 in just 23 balls, with two fours and five sixes. SA reached the 150-run mark in 15.2 overs.

Pandya came and delivered for India the crucial wicket of Klaasen for 52 in 27 balls, with two fours and five sixes. He was caught behind by Pant. SA was 151/5 in 16.1 overs.

Marco Jansen and Miller were the next pair to continue the chase. Pandya’s over though, gave a brief breather to India with no boundary, leaving them with 22 runs to defend in the final three overs.

Jansen was cleaned up by Bumrah for just two runs, and SA was 156/6 in 17.4 overs, left with 21 runs to get in 14 balls. Bumrah’s over gave away just two runs, leaving Proteas with 20 runs to get it final 12 balls.

Arshdeep bowled the penultimate over and gave just four runs. 

The Proteas needed 16 runs in the final six balls.

Hardik ran in to deliver the final over. He bowled a low full toss to Miller, who heaved it straight down the ground towards long-off. The ball looked like it would clear the rope, but Surya appeared out of nowhere, moving to his left. He juggled the ball as he neared the ropes. 

His feet were just millimeters away from the boundary cushions, but he managed not to step on them. Surya lobbed the ball back into play as he was going out, quickly returned, steadied himself, and completed one of the most crucial catches of all time.

The next five balls South managed just six runs, meaning India winning the title by seven runs.

Jasprit Bumrah, with his match-winning spell of 4-0-18-3, was adjudged Player of the Match.

Brief Scores:India 176/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 76, Axar Patel 47; Keshav Maharaj 2-23) defeated South Africa 169/8 in 20 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 52, Quinton de Kock 39, Hardik Pandya 3/20).

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Last Updated: 19th Jul 2024