Proteas slump to World T20 semi-final defeat
SA fell to a 6-wicket defeat to India in the semi-final of the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
CAPE TOWN - The Proteas are out of the ICC World Twenty20 after crashing to a six-wicket semi-final defeat to India.
South African skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat first in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Quinton de Kock flashed at a wide delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over, feathering an inside edge through to Indian keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to get the Proteas off to a poor start.
Hashim Amla played a typically classy innings before being clean bowled by a viciously turning Ravichandran Ashwin delivery. AB de Villiers fell cheaply, holing out to deep square leg off Ashwin's bowling for 10.
The star with the bat for the Proteas was undoubtedly du Plessis, who marched to the crease and played a real captain's innings, blasting 58 off 41 deliveries.
He was eventually bowled out by Ashwin.
JP Duminy also played a brilliant knock, eventually ending undefeated on 45 from 40 balls, while David Miller played a useful cameo, hitting 23 off 12 to help South Africa to a defendable score of 172.
India started their run chase brightly, with openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane racing to 33 off three overs.
Sharma was caught by du Plessis off the bowling of Beuran Hendricks.
India continued to create profitable partnerships at the crease.
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli kept the scoreboard ticking over, taking the Indian total to 77 before Rahane was caught by de Villiers.
Yuvraj Singh (18) and Suresh Raina (21) played their part with the bat, but the star of the innings,and ultimately the match was Kohli.
The 23-year-old came in at number three for India and immediately set about dismantling the Proteas bowling attack, playing a masterful innings and eventually ending undefeated on 72 from 44 balls.
The match looked set for a nail-biting finish until the 17th over, in which India blasted 17 runs off the bowling of Wayne Parnell. The left-armer's wayward bowling was ruthlessly exploited, swinging the momentum in India's favour and taking the game away.
In dissecting the defeat, the Proteas will certainly point to their decision to open with Duminy's spin against an Indian side well accustomed to dealing with the turning ball on sub-continent wickets.
The noticeable absence of the Yorker delivery from the Proteas bowling armoury will hopefully be addressed for future tournaments.
The Proteas once again failed to come up with the goods on the biggest stage.
Some tighter bowling in the pressure periods of the match could have resulted in a different outcome, but it is India who advance to Sunday's final against Sri Lanka.