India's Virat Kohli bats during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match between India and South Africa at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.
India's Virat Kohli bats during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match between India and South Africa at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.Photo | PTI

Kohli-powered India set South Africa 177-run target to win T20 World Cup

As Rohit Sharma said Virat Kohli reserved his best for the final and came up with a responsible innings. He chose the right delivery to attack and was in full control of the innings.

BRIDGETOWN: Virat Kohli's 76 off 59 balls and Axar Patel's cameo innings of 47 runs propelled India to post 176 for 7 in 20 overs against South Africa in the final of the T20 World Cup played at Barbados in the West Indies.

Coming in at when India were reeling at 34 for 3 Axar Patel put the long handle to effective use. During his short stay he treated all the South Africa bowlers with disdain. Runs flowed from the meat of his blade. While on 47 he was unfortunately run out in a mix up with Virat Kohli.

As Rohit Sharma said Virat Kohli reserved his best for the final and came up with a responsible innings. He chose the right delivery to attack and was in full control of the innings. A six off Marco Jansen that sailed deep into the stands at long on was a class act.

Kohli while trying to up the run rate he fell to Rabada as the poorly timed pull shot was lapped up by Rabada at long leg.

Earlier, opting to bat, India began well with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli starting confidently against Marco Jansen. South Africa brought in Keshav Maharaj at the other end and this did the trick and spelt disaster for India.

South Africa's decision to open with a left-arm spinner was a master stroke and he accounted for both Rohit Sharm and Rishab Pant in his very first over to send shock waves into the packed stadium.

Rohit struck Maharaj for boundaries the first two balls and blocked the third one. The fourth he went for a sweep which was poorly executed and Klaasen at backward square leg moved to his left and took a low catch.

A ball later Pant too fell to a poor sweep shot. A sweep shot is a good weapon against spin bowling, but if executed poorly it is a death knell and the Indians learnt it the hard way.

Kohli who started fluently against Marco Jansen was looking for support from the new man in Suryakumar Yadav (SKY) to steady the rocking boat.

But was in for a rude shock as SKY fell to the pull-trap of Rabada. SKY failed to connect a length delivery from Rabada and pulled it towards deep backward square leg where Klaasen ran to his left and tumbled before taking a low catch once again.

Thus India lost their third wicket in the power play with just 34 runs on the board.

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