Classy Kohli puts India on verge of trophy

 

Cricket Correspondent

If it is possible not to break sweat when chasing 173 to win in a semi-final under floodlights in stifling humidity, India more or less performed the feat last night.

They defeated South Africa by six wickets with five balls to spare, guided to the target by the consummate batting of Virat Kohli.

In scoring an unbeaten 72 from 44 balls, Kohli gave a lovely exhibition of rapid accumulation without appearing to do much in particular. He reached his half-century with only one four and two sixes, the rest coming by turning ones into twos and ensuring that the board ticked over.

Kohli’s innings contained only three dot balls and in its way was a minor masterpiece of how to approach a T20 innings. It was his third half-century of the tournament, which India have so far dominated by winning five straight matches. They will play Sri Lanka, finalists for the third time, tomorrow. If India win – and they are strong favourites to do so – they will hold all three ICC limited-overs trophies.

Considering that they came to Bangladesh having under-performed for months and with virtually the entire country calling for the dismissal of the coach, Duncan Fletcher, it has been some turnaround. It is as if they know where to do it and when to do it. The cloud of suspicion hanging over the game because of nefarious deeds in the Indian Premier League has left them blithely unaffected.

South Africa must have felt they were in the game after scoring 172 for 4. Although they did not finish as strongly as they might have wished, their captain Faf du Plessis’s muscular 58 made them competitive.

But their bowling was distinctly awry and India were allowed a cosy start. The great Dale Steyn was held back to deliver his final three overs at the end – understandable if risky. By then it was much too late even for him.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor