This Day, That Year: When a Virat Kohli masterpiece helped India reach their second T20 World Cup final
India locked horns with South Africa in the semifinal of the 2014 T20 World Cup on this very day. Both the teams had a good run in the league stages and they looked very even on paper. With the conditions favouring the spinners more, India had an upper hand but South Africa too had T20 superstars like AB de Villiers in their ranks.
South Africa batted first and looked to put the scoreboard pressure on India. However, they lost one of their in-form players early in the form of Quinton de Kock. Hashim Amla was then joined by skipper Faf du Plessis and the duo gave the Proteas a steady start. Amla was bowled by a dream delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin round the wicket. After that, JP Duminy and du Plessis strung together a partnership of 71 runs which gave a solid platform for the rest of the batsmen to cash-in later. Du Plessis scored a well-made 58 off 41 balls before getting cleaned up by Ashwin. Some late runs from Ab de Villiers and David Miller ensured that South Africa had posted a more than competitive total of 172-4 in their 20 overs.
Dew was surely going to play a factor but 173 was a big total to chase down especially with the pressure of a semifinal. India needed a good start and they got that thanks to a quickfire 24 from Rohit Sharma. Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli then took India’s innings ahead and gave India a platform to chase down the target. Rahane’s 32 came at just a little more than a run-a-ball and India needed some quick runs. Kohli ensured that India were in the chase by finding the boundary at regular intervals. His 56-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh kept India in the driver’s seat but he was doing the bulk of the scoring.
After losing Yuvraj’s wicket, Suresh Raina came to the crease and played a fantastic cameo of 21 runs in just 10 balls which broke open the chase. Kohli on the other end kept on scoring and brought yet another half-century while chasing. In the end, Kohli hit the winning runs and had MS Dhoni for his company at the crease. Kohli scored 72 off just 44 balls as India chased down the target with five balls to spare. Kohli roared like a lion, yet again showing the world why he was known as the modern-day great of the game.
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