SA exit WT20 after loss to India
A superb 65 off 38 balls from Faf du Plessis was not enough as South Africa bowed out of the World Twenty20 with a whimper following a one-run loss to India at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.
Full Scorecard India v South Africa
Du Plessis, who had been in wretched form in recent months, blasted two sixes and six fours to keep the Proteas on course for a large part of their pursuit of the 153 victory target.
They were 95 for three at one stage, needing just 58 off 45 balls with seven wickets in hand, before losing their way and slipping to a third successive loss of the Super Eights stage.
They started the day still harbouring hope of making the last four, but needed Australia to beat Pakistan for that to happen.
But the Aussies were beaten in that earlier game, so the SA-India game had significance only for India, who could still secure themselves a place in the play-offs.
After posting 152/6, which was centred around Suresh Raina’s 45 off 34, the Indians needed to keep AB de Villiers and his team to 121 or less to improve their net run-rate and edge Pakistan for the final qualifying spot.
But they were unable to do this, and they too bowed out despite winning four out of five games in the competition.
South Africa’s record was two from five, but they should have had a third win after restricting India on a good batting wicket.
This video is not available in your region
After winning the toss and fielding first, the breakthrough arrived in the fourth over when Morne Morkel (2-28) bowled Gautam Gambhir for eight, followed by the wicket of dangerman Virat Kohli (2), caught behind by De Villiers off Jacques Kallis.
Virender Sehwag (17) brought the crowd to life with a six off Peterson (2-25) over cow corner, but the spinner had his revenge when a slower ball went straight through the opener’s defences.
Yuvraj Singh came in and struck an aggressive 21 off 15, including two maximums, but was bowled in the 10th over by Morkel with India reaching the halfway stage on 68 for four.
But Raina and Rohit Sharma (25) rebuilt steadily during a 44-run stand, which saw their side past 100 in the 14th over.
But Peterson captured the wicket of the latter with four overs to go and it was only because of some timely late hitting by MS Dhoni (23 off 13) that the Indians managed to reach 152.
South Africa lost Hashim Amla (0) in the first over to the outstanding Zaheer Khan (3-22), while Kallis (6) also fell cheaply.
But De Villiers (13) and Du Plessis put on 30 together, and after the former played on to man-of-the-match Yuvraj (2-23), JP Duminy came in and played nicely.
The left-hander added 49 with Du Plessis, who got to his 50 from just 29 balls, as the Proteas looked on track.
Both men were dismissed within the space of 14 deliveries and even though the likes of Farhaan Behardien and Albie Morkel were still to come, wickets kept falling at regular intervals.
The match was seemingly killed off in the 18th over when Zaheer dislodged Behardien (13) and Peterson (10) in successive deliveries.
With 14 needed from the last over, Albie struck Laksmi Balaji for a six from the first ball, before being bowled next ball.
Brother Morne did the same from the penultimate delivery and was also bowled next ball as SA were dismissed with a ball to spare.
INDIA - Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Irfan Pathan, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, L Balaji.
SOUTH AFRICA - Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (capt & wk), JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn.
/b - Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers (capt