India won a thriller against South Africa by 1 run in Colombo, but sadly it was not enough to get them through to the last four. Needing to win by a minimum of 31 runs after being put into bat they could not restrict the Proteas. (AP & AFP Photos)
Put into bat, India lost Gautam Gambhir early to Morne Morkel and the hopes of a good start were dashed.
Jacques Kallis removed Virat Kohli for just 2 and India were in deep trouble with their best batsman back in the pavilion.
It was a day India needed Virender Sehwag to deliver but he too failed with the bat falling to Robin Peterson for 17 and India were 36/3 in the sixth over.
Yuvraj Singh was looking in good touch as he smashed 21 runs from 15 balls before being yorked by Morne Morkel.
Suresh Raina proved his worth as a good finisher scoring a brisk 45 off 34 balls with 5 fours. With Rohit Sharma making 25 and MS Dhoni hitting 23, India reaches a respectable 152/6 in 20 overs. It meant they had to restrict South Africa to 121 or less for making it to the semis.
India's new ball bowlers struck early as South Africa lost both openers and it seemed India were going to make a match of it.
Faf du Plessis came into his own and turned on the heat on the Indians hitting 65 off 38 balls with 6 fours and 2 sixes. Any hope of India winning by the required margin was dead and buried.
But India were not finished as far as the match was concerned. While they were eliminated they still had a match going on and Zaheer Khan bowled a superb line to take crucial wickets and prevent free scoring.
Zaheer was given good support by L. Balaji who also snared 3 victims and took the game down to the wire as it went to the last over.
A good last over from Balaji saw India acrape a win by 1 run over South Africa. But the victory would taste bitter as Pakistan's convincing win over Australia earlier in the day prevents them from making it to the last four. India go home pondering what on might have been and South Africa have nothing to show with no wins in the Super Eights stage.
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Oct 07 2012,19:00 (IST)
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