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Monday, June 24, 2024

Plays of the day: King Kohli stars as unbeaten India make light work of Proteas

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Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten century as hosts India overcame South Africa in a top-of-the-table Cricket Cup clash on Sunday.

The hosts proved too good for South Africa to maintain their perfect record in the tournament with both teams having booked their spots in the semi-finals already.

Cricket writer Zaahier Adams looks at five plays of the day from Sunday’s action at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

BALL: The late Shane Warne delivered a couple of beauties in his hey-day, namely “The Ball of the Century” to Mike Gatting and the ball that left Herschelle Gibbs spellbound in the 1999 Cup semi-final. But Keshav Maharaj’s delivery to Shubman Gill was on par with either of Warne’s specials. The left-arm spinner drifted a delicate into the pads, drawing Gill forward, before it turned sharply from outside the leg stump to hit the top of off. Gill was so surprised that he asked the umpires for a review to see whether the ball had actually hit the stumps.

NERVES: Marco Jansen admitted ahead of the match that he was “nervous” about playing India in such a massive game. It duly showed with the 23-year-old seemingly overwhelmed by the occasion as he delivered four wides, including one that went for four past the keeper and leg-slip, in his first over that cost 17 runs. It was reminiscent of Zaheer Khan’s horror opening over of the 2003 Cup final at the Wanderers.

KING KOHLI: In the land of Gods, Kohli is fanatically worshipped by his followers. And they were in full rapturous applause when the former India captain raised his bat for his 49th ODI century to equal the guru Sachin Tendulkar’s mark. It was a double celebration as it was also Kohli’s 35th birthday. He was later congratulated by his good friend and Proteas legend AB de Villiers on the side of the boundary, setting off another round of craziness.

REVIEW: Ravindra Jadeja always appeals enthusiastically and needs no second invitation to convince his captain to review a decision. But on this occasion, he was a Lone Ranger after having his initial appeal for an LBW against Heinrich Klaasen turned down. Rohit Sharma wanted nothing to do with it, but eventually relented. It proved to be a masterstroke from Jadeja with Klaasen shown three red lights much to his irritation.

QUOTE: “We know the challenge, know the narrative around us while chasing. Didn’t do it any justice today. When we talk about it as a batting group, gotta be honest.” – Proteas captain Temba Bavuma fronting up to his team’s woeful record batting second.

@ZaahierAdams

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