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T20 World Cup Final: India edges South Africa by seven runs in thriller

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Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmatihttps://www.khaama.com
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati

India clinched their first ICC title in 11 years with a thrilling 7-run victory over South Africa at Kensington Oval, Barbados, in the T20 World Cup 2024 final. The match came down to the wire as India successfully defended their total of 176 runs in a nail-biting finish.

South Africa appeared on course for victory, with Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller steering their chase, needing 30 runs from the last 30 balls. India, however, conjured a remarkable turnaround in the crucial moments to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Virat Kohli played a captain’s innings, anchoring India’s batting effort with a gritty 76 runs off 59 deliveries. His innings were pivotal in setting up India’s total of 176 for 7, the highest in a men’s T20 World Cup final, after a shaky start that saw India reeling at 34 for 3.

The partnership between Kohli and Axar Patel was the turning point for India, rescuing them from early trouble with a crucial 72-run stand. Axar Patel’s aggressive 47 off 31 balls provided the impetus needed to bolster India’s innings and put pressure on the South African bowlers.

Despite Keshav Maharaj and Anrich Nortje picking up two wickets each for South Africa, they couldn’t prevent India from posting a competitive total. The match swung dramatically in India’s favour during the middle overs, courtesy of Kohli and Patel’s partnership.

South Africa’s chase started confidently, but they faltered under the pressure of a mounting required rate in the final overs. India’s bowlers capitalized on the situation, tightening the screws with disciplined bowling and sharp fielding.

The tense atmosphere at Kensington Oval peaked in the penultimate over when India dismissed Heinrich Klaasen, leaving South Africa needing an improbable 17 runs off the final over with only the lower-order batsmen to follow.

As the final over unfolded, India held their nerve to restrict South Africa to 169 for 8, clinching a memorable victory and sparking jubilant celebrations among Indian players and fans alike. This triumph marked a significant milestone in Indian cricket, ending their long wait for an ICC title and reaffirming their prowess in the shortest-game format.

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