MS Dhoni (R) greets Virat Kohli (L) after India won the ICC World Twenty20 match against South Africa at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. (AFP Photo)
Virat Kohli hit a sparkling fifty and got a partnership of 56 with Yuvraj Singh to give India a six-wicket win against South Africa in the second semi-final of the World T20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane provided an explosive start, but left early. The two showed their intent early on and took on the Proteas bowlers. Their 39-run partnership came off 23 balls.
Read: Virat was too good for us, says Faf du Plessis
Rohit raced to his 24 in 13 balls with four fours and a six. He fell finally when he tried to hit Beuran Hendricks down the ground, but it went straight up.
Ajinkya Rahane (32) kept the momentum going, but the run rate came down a bit. Rahane fell in the tenth over to Wayne Parnell. He tried to give the charge, swung at the bouncer, got a top edge and was caught at deep midwicket.
At this point, Kohli (72*) and Yuvraj (18) came together. They played sensible cricket, hitting the occasional big shots and keeping the strike rotating. The required run rate slowly inched up.
Yuvraj left in the 16th over when he tried to hit Imran Tahir down the ground. He couldn't get the elevation and was caught out at long-off. The required run rate at that point was 10 per over.
The next over changed all that. Suresh Raina (21) got stuck into Wane Parnell and took him for 17 in an over. The match turned on its head.
Raina tried to clear mid-off in the next over and got caught out instead. But he had done his job. The match was in India's kitty.
MS Dhoni came out to finish things off. With two runs remaining, Virat took a single, tying the scores. Ever the gentleman, Dhoni refused to take a run, allowing Virat to finish things off, which he did with a boundary.
Ashwin gives another sparkling performance
In the earlier innings, South Africa captain Faf du Plesis hit a quick fifty and stitched up a 71-run partnership with JP Duminy to steer South Africa to 172 for four in 20 overs.
Du Plesis got to his 58 in 41 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Read: My best knock considering importance of the match, says Kohli
India struck in the very first over when Bhuvneshwar Kumar came into action. Opener Quinton de Kock (6) went for a drive on a length ball outside off and sent a fine edge to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.
Hashim Amla (22) and Faf du Plessis (58) then kept the scorecard ticking, picking fours at will off the fast bowlers. Bhuvneshwar gave away 21 runs in three overs, while Mohit Sharma went for 20 in his two.
R Ashwin finally broke the 35-run partnership in his first over when he castled Amla. The batsman misjudged a carom ball that landed outside leg but turned more than he expected to rattle his off stump.
JP Duminy (45*) then joined du Plesis. Their 71-run partnership came off 52 balls.
Finally, it was Ashwin to the rescue again. Another carrom ball did the trick as du Plessis tried to make space, missed and lost his stumps.
Ashwin struck again in his next over. It was a long hop outside leg and AB de Villiers (10) could not get a hold of it. The top edge sailed to Rohit Sharma at long off who took a nicely judged catch.
Read: 'Thankful to Dhoni for letting me hit the winning runs'
However, Ashwin's sparkling 3/22 could not help India much as the other bowlers were mostly ineffective. Duminy led the charge in the end, hitting a four and three huge sixes.
David Miller kept him company, smashing 23 in 12 balls, peppered with two fours and a six. India now need 173 to win at 8.65 runs per over.
Live Commentary, India Innings:
Commentary, South Africa Innings: