T20 World Cup 2024 Final: 13-year drought ended, India lifts cup in Barbados

New Delhi: History was created at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados as India defeated South Africa by 7 runs to win the T20 World Cup 2024 on Saturday.

Chasing 177 to win the grand finale, the Proteas lost quick wickets against Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh. Tristan Stubbs then got together with Quindtn de Kock and added 58 off 39 balls before he gifted his wicket away on a nothing ball from Axar Patel.

De Kock, who was looking good to get the team over the line, made a mistake just like Stubbs and got caught at the same place where he hit a four just one ball ago. Maybe he was sure that he would clear the fielder, but failed to do so. Klaasen was joined by Miller in the middle.

Klaasen went bang-bang against Axar Patel in the 15th over and took 24 off it to bring up his fifty and the required rate down to run-ball in the last five overs. However, he played a lose shot against Pandya and got out to give India another life.

It then came down to 16 off 6 balls needed and the rain started to fall as Pandya came to bowl, Miller hit the full toss with all his power and then Suryakumar Yadav took the best catch of his career to dismiss Miller and put India’s one hand on the trophy.

Earlier, Virat Kohli was guarded in his approach while Axar Patel was the enforcer as India recovered from early jitters to post 176 for 7 against South Africa in the T20 World Cup final here on Saturday.

At 34 for three, India were staring at another batting failure in a big final before Axar (47 off 31) and Kohli (76 off 59) turned the tide for them. Axar was run out in an unfortunate manner, completely against the run of play, which brought about an end to his 72-run partnership off 54 balls with Kohli. Kohli did slow down considerably in the middle overs to bring up his first 50 off the tournament with 48 balls.

Rohit Sharma (9) had no hesitation in batting first at Kensington Oval where the pitch has not been the easiest to bat on through the competition. The Indian captain, coming from two back-to-back match-winning efforts, departed early after collecting a couple of consecutive fours off Keshav Maharaj in the second over of the game.

Maharaj responded well by having Rohit caught at square leg as the batter went for a sweep. Rohit and incoming batter Rishabh Pant both fell to the sweep shot. The tension in the Indian camp increased when Suryakumar Yadav, who has also been in good touch like Rohit, was caught at fine-leg after not getting enough from his pick-up shot off Rabada, leaving India with three down inside the powerplay.

At 45 for three in six overs, it was the slowest powerplay for India in the Caribbean leg. Watching wickets tumble at the other end, Kohli, who hit three elegant boundaries off Marco Jansen in the opening over of the final, shifted gears during the middle overs and let Axar come up with an odd boundary.

Such was the nature of Kohli’s knock that his first big hit after the powerplay, a straight six off Rabada, came in the 18th over. Axar, on the other hand, potentially played the innings of his T20 career and negotiated the South African spinners effectively, collecting a six each from Aiden Markram, Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi. However, the highlight of his special knock was the straight six through the line off Rabada.
Between 7-15 overs, India mustered 72 with the loss of Axar who fell to a direct hit from keeper Quinton de Kock at the non-striker’s end. Kohli was pushing for a single off a rising ball from Rabada and de Kock with a clean one-handed pickup, hit the bull’s eye.

Shivam Dube (27 off 16), who came into the middle before the start of death overs, delivered a few timely blows to prop up the total. Kohli also dropped anchor to smash a couple of sixes in the last five overs from which India collected 58 runs with the loss of three wickets.

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