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    Breaking NewsWorld Is Enough: Virat Kohli bids adieu to T20s, India T20 World...

    World Is Enough: Virat Kohli bids adieu to T20s, India T20 World Cup champions again


    Bridgetown, Jun 29: 's agonizing 11-year wait for a global title was brought to an end by Virat Kohli's ingenuity and Rohit Sharma's inspirational captaincy as the star-studded team outwitted eternal bridesmaids South Africa by seven runs in a see-saw final to lift its second trophy here on Saturday.

    Kohli, who was part of the 2011 ODI Cup triumph, announced his retirement from the format after being adjudged player of the match for his 76-run knock. He wore a detached look on his face after the win but broke down eventually.

    “It's time for the next generation to take over. It was an open secret and I would have announced it even if we would have lost,” Kohli said.

    Hardik Pandya, booed through the after being handed Mumbai Indians captaincy, broke down after having endured a tough six months and the enduring image would certainly be the kiss planted on his cheeks by the man people rooted for — Rohit Sharma.

    Captain Sharma, his eyes glistening, was on his haunches as he was emotionally exhausted. His wife Ritika, watched from the stands, also in tears. To be fair, there wasn't a single soul in the stadium who didn't feel choked by emotions.

    “Very hard to sum up what we have been through for the last 3-4 years…a lot has gone on behind the scenes. It is not today, it is what we have been doing for the last three-four years,” Rohit said.

    When Heinrich Klaasen (52 off 27 balls) was going hammer and tongs against the in-form Indian spinners, it seemed Rohit Sharma and his men will have to settle for second place in another World Cup final but they clawed their way back into the game with a lot of help from South Africa.

    Eventually, Hardik Pandya, much maligned by his own supporters for past six months, was able to defend 16 runs in the final over to ensure India's first ICC trophy since 2013 and a maiden T20 World Cup crown in the post-IPL era. In response to India's 176 for seven, South Africa ended at 169 for eight.

    The sense of relief and jubilation was evident on the stars of Indian team, Kohli and Rohit, who might not stay on for another T20 World Cup cycle. The result was also a fitting farewell to head coach Rahul Dravid. It was the joint effort of Kohli (76 off 59)and Axar Patel (47 off 31) that allowed India to set the highest total in a T20 World Cup final.

    In the high-pressure run chase, India pacers provided two early wickets before a 58-run stand between opener Quinton de Kock (39 off 31) and Tristian Stubbs (52 off 27) put the Proteas back in the game. However, it was Klaasen's breath taking knock that almost stunned India.

    Needing a wicket, Rohit Sharma did not turn to his lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah and went for Axar Patel in the 15th over in which Klaasen pounded couple of sixes and as many fours to singled-handedly take the game away from the opposition.

    The asking rate suddenly dropped to run a ball and it became South Africa's game to lose.

    Not known to keep their calm in pressure situations, South Africa made life tougher for themselves and needed 20 runs off the last 12 balls with David Miller and Keshav Maharaj in the centre.

    Bumrah, who had bowled a beauty to dislodge Reeza Hendricks in the powerplay, made an impact when he was eventually brought back for this remaining two overs, picking up a wicket and conceding only six runs off his final 12 balls.

    The equation came down 16 off the last six balls and on the first ball, Suryakumar Yadav took a sensational relay catch at the long-off boundary off Hardik to put India on the cusp of a thrilling victory.

    Earlier, India did well to post the highest total in a T20 World Cup final after being 34 for three. Axar was run out in an unfortunate manner, completely against the run of play, which brought about an end to his 72-run partnership off 54 balls with Kohli. Kohli did slow down considerably in the middle overs to bring up his first 50 off the tournament with 48 balls.

    Rohit Sharma (9) had no hesitation in batting first at Kensington Oval where the pitch has not been the easiest to bat on through the competition. The Indian captain, coming from two back to back match winning efforts, departed early after collecting couple of consecutive fours off Keshav Maharaj in the second over of the game.

    Maharaj responded well by having Rohit caught at square leg as the batter went for a sweep. Rohit and incoming batter Rishabh Pant both fell to the sweep shot.

    The tension in the Indian camp increased when Suryakumar, who has also been in good touch like Rohit, was caught at fine-leg after not getting enough from his pick up shot off Rabada, leaving India with three down inside the powerplay. At 45 for three in six overs, it was the slowest powerplay for India in the Caribbean leg.

    Watching wickets tumble at the other end, Kohli, who hit three elegant boundaries off Marco Jansen in opening over of the final, shifted gears during the middle overs and let Axar come up with an odd boundary.

    Such was the nature of Kohli's knock that his first big hit after the powerplay, a straight six off Rabada, came in the 18th over.

    Axar Patel, on the other hand, potentially played the innings of his T20 career and negotiated the South African spinners effectively, collecting a six each from Aiden Markram, Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi.

    Kohli dropped anchor to smash a couple of sixes in the last five overs from which India collected 58 runs with the loss of three wickets.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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