India knock out South Africa to reach Champions Trophy semi-finals

ICC Champions Trophy

ICC Champions Trophy

India crushed South Africa by eight wickets on Sunday to reach the Champions Trophy semi-finals and knock the world's top-ranked team out of the tournament.

"We're not thinking about the semi-final right now". It surely must have made South Africa go on the back foot.

Whoever wins will likely top Group B in this eight-team tournament. One hates to use the disrespectful word "chokers", but it is getting next to impossible for the Proteas to shake that tag.

They picked up a crucial 2 points and great Net Run Rate.

They managed 119/3 in 27 overs when the skies opened up and no further play was possible, prompting the officials to award the match to Pakistan. One wonders why they follow the same script in nearly all ICC tournaments.

The match with India was no different.

The two quick run-out dismissals - of AB de Villiers (16) and David Miller (1) in the 29th and 30th overs, respectively - saw South Africa reduced to 142/4.

What is with Dhawan, England and the Champions Trophy?

Bumrah made his debut for India against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January previous year. His record against England in England is now 186 runs in five matches at a very respectable average of 46.5. He has three centuries. The most used by any team in any CT is 15.

Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are upbeat after their upset victories and it's hard to pick a favourite for tomorrow's match.

Kohli had a rare duck in the last match with Sri Lanka.

You would expect fans on social media to stick the boot into South Africa while they're in the middle of a meltdown, but not the sport's governing body. "We grabbed the chances that came our way". We have the talent, but still you never know when it comes.

The first legendary finisher was Aussie Michael Bevan and his tally is 2147. Even MS Dhoni had difficulty scoring against the pace and precision of the right-handed bowler.

"There was a big break in the last time we were together as a team but that's definitely not an excuse - you should just pick up from where you left".

There was one bit of bad news for Angelo Mathews' side during that win against India though, as Kusal Perera suffered a hamstring injury during the game and became the second Sri Lankan player after Chamara Kapugedera to be ruled out of the tournament. Then they failed to take a wicket in the first 17 overs too. "They probably might be feeling the pressure and the part-timers have nothing to lose, so that actually slowed the game down, also", he said.

Every bowler picked up at least a wicket.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah both picked up two wickets while Pandya, Ashwin and Jadeja all chipped in with a wicket each.

The semi-final will be a British Raj affair and will feature England versus the Indian sub-continent. Today was a team performance."With India and Bangladesh joining hosts England in the last four and the victor of Monday's Sri Lanka against Pakistan match taking the final semi-final berth, it's been a strong tournament for the teams from the sub continent".

The 36-year-old spinner felt that it was a game in which the desire to win mattered a lot, and South Africa "simply did not turn up".

The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger.

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