India knock out South Africa to reach Champions Trophy semi-finals
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 12, 2017,
Jun 12, 2017, 3:37
The prize for Monday's winners will be a semi-final spot, nearly certainly against England on Wednesday at the same venue rather than facing Bangladesh at Edgbaston 24 hours later.
South Africa's cricketers resent their reputation for freezing under pressure, but they do themselves no favours.
Hashim Amla was very watchful, escaping an early run-out attempt as he toiled for runs before falling for 35 off 54 balls.
Bumrah was ready to bowl the 43rd over when Kohli made a late decision to throw the ball to Bhuvneshwar.
South Africa's openers had laboured through the first hour of play, managing only 52 runs in 14 overs. A third one could well be on the cards as both India and South Africa boast of top-class batsmen.
AB de Villiers, who many would have thought was due a big score, looked in fine nick and at 140 for two the Proteas would have had their eye on a 280-plus score on a dry and used surface.
Respect was shown to Kagiso Rabada (0-34) but India's batsmen scored runs easily off all of the other bowlers, who each conceded over five runs per over.
Pakistan were as abject against India as they were brilliant in the South African game and Sri Lanka played marginally better against the Proteas in their first game but were still outclassed in defeat before roaring into form with a brilliant chase against India.
While Rohit Sharma only managed to add 12 runs to the chase, the duo of Dhawan and Kohli did a fantastic job, powering the chase until the 31st overs.
Showing tremendous improvement, the India bowlers then went to wrap up the opponents in the next 51 runs.
Kohli did not hit a boundary until his 25th delivery but he made up with it with a superb six back down the ground.
Du Plessis was their last hope of rewriting that sorry script, but he dragged Hardik Pandya onto his stumps four overs after Miller went.
Trying to explain the turnaround in his team's fortunes, Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed said: "We had a good bowling meeting".
"It is important to grab those opportunities". We wanted to be calm and execute our plans.
"It depends on what the bowlers offer us".
What to expect: The Cardiff surface has so far been generally good for batting but has had less pace and bounce than the other two venues in the competition. We had certain things in mind which didn't come off well against Sri Lanka.
Both teams are well matched and have had one excellent performance in this tournament in addition to a poor showing too. Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah bowled tight lines, giving nothing away. We never got going, very sad obviously. "A lot of soft dismissals".
"Not a lot of people believe me but I feel it is pretty close, it is very hard to say that after a performance like this but that is what I believe in my heart".