India end with a whimper
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:India v South Africa
Player:JP Duminy, J Botha, AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni
Event:ICC World Twenty20 2009

DateLine: 16th June 2009


What could have been a consolation win for Dhoni's men and their fans, turned into a utterly disappointing loss. The stars of Indian batting fell like a house of cards to spin bowling, an area considered to be of traditional strength.


The South African spinners looked like they were bowling to some club batting line-up and even though the pitch assisted spin, losing a game after restricting the opposition to a mere 130 was bad display of batsmanship. All this after entering the tournament as favourites because of the strong batting line-up.


Chasing 131, India started in brilliant fashion with Gautam Gambhir (21 off 19 balls) looking to make amends for his failures in the tournament. He cut, drove and came down the track to fast bowlers as he and Rohit Sharma started the run chase with disdain.


The duo added 48 off 38 deliveries but the Proteas tasted success with the introduction of spin. Johan Botha flighted one around the off-stump and Gambhir, in trying to chip it over extra cover, was only able to find JP Duminy in the deep.


With this wicket, the script changed dramatically as first Raina and then Sharma (29 off 28 balls) fell in quick succession. All this within eight runs of Gambhir's fall. Till now all the batsmen fell victim to spinners, and script followed during the South African innings looked set to be repeated.


After these wickets, a comedy of errors led to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni finding himself short of the crease. Yuvraj was left stunned by the manner in which Dhoni went for the suicidal run and got out. Wickets continued to fall as Yusuf Pathan went back to the dug-out without troubling the scorers.


In came Harbhajan Singh ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and his intentions were clear from the word go. He and Yuvraj again looked to resurrect the innings, also hitting a couple of sixes in the process. Harbhajan though got out trying to hit one over themid-wicket fielder.


With Yuvraj's wicket in the next over, the last nail in the Indian coffin was also stamped. The Indians finally fell short by 12 runs and finished their super eight campaign on a pathetic note, losing all the three games.


Earlier, after having won the toss and deciding to bat first, South Africa started off in rollicking fashion despite losing Herschelle Gibbs early to RP Singh. Graeme Smith (26 off 26 balls) and AB De Villiers (63) started to cart the Indian bowlers from the word go, with Zaheer Khan and RP Singh coming under their scanner.


The duo added 46 runs and then Harbhajan lured Smith out and the batsman only managed to top-edge the ball to midwicket.


Spin changed the course of the game. Yuvraj, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan and Suresh Raina bowled well on a wicket that supported them. They strangled the Protean batting in such a manner that even an AB de Villiers, who is considered as the best player of spin in the their line-up, could not get them away.


In fact the spinners gave away only 75 runs in 14 overs after South Africa looked to steal the initiative with the carnage they had begun.


South Africa finally finished with a score of 130 in 20 overs, something that looked par, considering they had Johan Botha and Roelof van der Merwe up their sleeves, two bowlers who have done really well in the shortest format of the game.


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