South Africa in semis after thrilling tie

West Indies heart-broken in rain-ravaged match.

Scorecard | Match pictures | Points table

Ingram hits top form.CARDIFF:  For once the boot was on the other foot. South Africa, making unprecedented history, tied with the West Indies in what was a virtual, rain-ravaged quarterfinal of the Champions Trophy, but progressed into the knockouts courtesy of a superior Net Run Rate in the league stage.

It was all rather  tragic-comic. And considering their fate in weather-hit, must-win encounters involving the use of math and equations, you'd have been forgiven for disbelieving that the Proteas actually came out on top in a game of twists and turns and vexatious interruptions.

They join India at the business end of the tournament as the top two sides from Group 'B', with an inconsequential yet highly anticipated game between India and Pakistan to be played.

Pollard's mistake

Chasing an impressive 230/6 in 31 overs, the West Indies found themselves in genuine contention: within 41 runs of the target and with four overs to get them. At that stage, the Carribeans were on 190/5, three ahead of the par score and would have happily marched into the last-four had the rain come down exactly then.

As fate would have it, there was still time for another ball before the skies opened up for the millionth time on the evening; and that solitary delivery, bowled by seamer Ryan McLaren and off which Kieron Pollard played a shot of brazen irresponsibility, cost the Windies a place in the semis as the par score was yanked up on account of the extra dismissal.

It was bucketing down by now and after all the drama and disappointment South Africa found themselves home and dry and into the semis, thanks to opener Colin Ingram’s 73 and cameos of varying length and intensity from David Miller, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers.

Dale Steyn, returning after injury, was outstanding as he gave away just 33 six overs and bowled the rampaging Marlon Samuels at a crucial juncture.

Gayle misfires

As is often the case, the chase was being made out to be a battle between Chris Gayle and Steyn, who had recovered fully from the side-strain that kept him out of the first two matches. Gayle (36) decided to play the waiting game, shepherding the score to 49 for the loss of Johnson Charles in ten overs, before he shrugged off his languor with a sequence of big shots against JP Duminy’s off-breaks.

Having smashed seamer Chris Morris for four, the hulking opener chopped the bowler straight to point for an easy catch by du Plessis. Dwayne Smith was sent off via a brilliant review of a turned down leg-before appeal that led to reversal of the original decision, off the bowling of left-arm spinner Robin Peterson, in the 15th over of the chase.

Samuels show

Rain came down as if on cue and another break was enforced, this time, thankfully, without a reworked target. The Proteas madeanother breakthrough when Hashim Amla's brilliant work at the deep mid-wicket boundary caused Darren Bravo's run out.

But if South Africa through it was all over but for the shouting, Marlon Samuels had different plans.

In a terrifying sequence of hitting, Samuels struck 6, 4, 4, 6, 4, 4 off McLaren and Peterson bringing the West Indies right back in the hunt, needing 85 off the last ten overs. Steyn, however, uprooted Samuels' middle stump in an expensive over that went for 14. Pollard took on the mantle of scoring. He succeeded, only to fall to his instinct of going for the big shot when it was not really needed.

Delayed start

A steady drizzle first reduced the game to 36 overs a side and then, just after Dwayne Bravo had elected to field, it poured some more. Amla and Ingram finally walked out for a 31-overs per team contest, and provided a solid 80-run partnership that was dominated by the southpaw.  

The openers often had to fend off deliveries in the region of 150 kmph from Tino Best, who was playing for the ill Kemar Roach; but pace is pointless without direction and Amla powered him with ease through the legside, before being splayed by a vicious yorker that caught the bat end on its way to jamming his toes.

Ingram dealt with the predictably short fare from Ravi Rampaul with a series of confident pulls and then edged Sunil Narine, who was introduced in the last over of the Powerplay, fortuitously wide of slip.

Super sixes

The engineer of the most dot balls in this tournament was then lofted out of the park. Ingram repeated the shot in Darren Sammy’s first over – a monstrous shot back over the bowler’s head – and brought up his half-century in 46 balls with a masterly pulled four, as South Africa reached 100 in the 15th over.

West Indies tasted first success when Amla was taken by Chris Gayle, third attempt at short cover, off Marlon Samuels’ first ball. Ingram had survived a few edges through and wide of slip – he was eventually out to Kieron Pollard’s slower ball with score on 124.

New man JP Duminy soon followed suit gloving a Dwayne Bravo bouncer foolishly down the leg-side to the ‘keeper.

Miller entertains


When Best returned, de Villiers (37) used his prodigious pace to help him over fine-leg for six and speared a full-toss through cover for four.

De Villiers ominous stay was abruptly ended when Darren Bravo – body perpendicular to terra firma – snatched an absolute blinder at mid-wicket.

South Africa had now lost three relatively quick and key wickets. But David Miller (38) and Faf du Plessis (35) brought them back on track with a hurtling 68-run stand in just eight overs. Miller struck Powerplay sixes off Pollard and Bravo as 51 came in the last five. Both young Turks were out in the last over, by when the damage had been done.

Fantasy cricket: Did you pick Colin Ingram in your XI?

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab

On Now: Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Fifties from Watson, Samson power Rajasthan to a big score. More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »