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India wins it easy over South Africa in Champions Trophy

13 Juin 2017

India captain Virat Kohli praised his bowling attack as they demolished the South Africa batting line-up to seal a spot in the Champions Trophy semi-final.

In-form opener Dhawan was the key figure with 78 from 83 balls, including 12 fours, while captain Kohli weighed in with a typically elegant 76. Both sides were written off prior to the tournament but stunning wins against their higher-ranked opponents has them just one more strong performance from a semi-final berth. India will meet Bangladesh in the semi-finals in Birmingham on Thursday. The last four wickets went for 13 runs, and the innings finished, aptly, on a run out. Instead of continuing Morkel's targeting of Malik and Babar Azam's ribcages, with a leg gully and two men on the hook to take advantage of any mistakes, De Villiers got Morkel to shift his line to off-stump and just outside. He is playing wonderfully once again, and seems to have carried his big-hitting form over from the match against South Africa.

Jadeja took 1-39 from his 10 overs, conceding no boundaries, and Ashwin, playing his first one-day worldwide since January because of the left-handers in South Africa's lineup, took 1-43. Over the years, the Indian fielding was notoriously sub-standard and there were matches which the team had lost because of being a worse fielding side.

Star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin got the break-through for India when Amla mistimed a cut and Mahendra Singh Dhoni displayed lighting quick reflexes to glove the top edge.

Monday's match in Cardiff has the look of a "dead rubber" about it after Pakistan suffered a 124-run thrashing by arch-rivals and Champions Trophy title-holders India in their opening Group B match. Then, de Kock and former ODI captain Faf du Plessis (36, 50 balls, 1x4) added 40 for the second wicket. "We asked our bowlers to make them play hard shots".

Ashwell Prince might be right when he says that the board should dictate proceedings to players, but having said this few can question the commitment of AB de Villiers.

Apart from Bumrah, his co-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar too bagged two wickets while Ashwin, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja managed one wicket a piece.

The defeat kept South Africa's choker's tag in tact but De Villiers, who scored only 20 in three games, defiant.

The target of 192 was not one that much bothered India. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli scored half centuries and led India to an eight-wicket win, thus ensuring their progression to the knockout stages of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.

India wins it easy over South Africa in Champions Trophy