Jasprit Bumrah celebrates with teammates after dismissing Marco Jansen in the final on Saturday. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: India held their nerve to pull off a sensational seven-run win over South Africa in the final of the Twenty20 World Cup at Barbados, ending a 11-year wait for a major title.

Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah were the heroes for India after Heinrich Klassen’s assault on Axar Patel tilted the match firmly in South Africa’s favour. But Pandya removed the dangerous Klaasen off the first ball after the break to give India the much-needed breakthrough while Bumrah finished his spell with his second wicket, dismissing Marco Jansen and giving away just two runs.

Immense pressure 

The two overs put South Africa under immense pressure, which India capitalised to pull off a sensational win. The Indians lifted their game when it mattered most to live up to the No 1 status, be it in bowling or fielding. Suryakumar Yadav pulled off a stunning catch to dismiss David Miller and snuff out South Africa’s hopes and give India the second Twenty20 World Cup title.

Success in World Cups continues to elude the Proteas since losing to England in the 1992 World Cup in Australia, but after having made it to their first World Cup final, the South Africans showed great composure to overwhelm India’s challenging total on a pitch that was not condusive for strokeplay.

But when they were again in grasp of the elusive title, things changed for worse and they once again ended stumbled in the final hurdle.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

Earlier, Virat Kohli anchored the Indian innings as wickets tumbled at the other end, guiding India to a winning score of 176 for seven. The Indian talisman had been quiet until the final, but his big-match temperament and experience in handling pressure helped him score his 38th career half-century and first in this World Cup. The significant difference in this innings was his patience. Kohli’s 76 might have come at a strike rate of under 129, but those were priceless runs under pressure.

read more

20240628 final
Virat Kohli and Axar Patel resurrected the Indian innings after losing three early wickets in the final. Image Credit: AFP

However, the 14 runs off the first over must have brought confidence back into his game, and the three wickets in the powerplay allowed him to take his time and ensure that he held the innings together, which allowed Axar Patel and Shivam Dube to go on the attack and give the Men in Blue a fighting total.

Axar Patel and Shivam Dube boost India’s total

Kohli waited patiently to score his first six in the 18th over, showing the intensity in his innings. But Kohli and India owe a lot to Axar Patel, who ensured that the Men in Blue were not behind in the run rate, scoring 47 off 31 balls, including four sixes.

Patel walked in when India were in dire straits, having lost skipper Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in the second over off Keshav Maharaj, and world No. 1 batter Suryakumar Yadav two overs later. But Axar ensured that the pressure was not on Kohli, played freely from the start, and missed what would have been a deserving century when he was run out.

Dube, who was under pressure for not making enough contributions during this World Cup, chipped in with a useful knock of 27. Anrich Nortje took two wickets in the final over to halt India from crossing the 180-run mark.