India wins T20 World Cup Title

Indian players celebrate with the winners trophy after defeating South Africa in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, June 29, 2024.
AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

India won their second International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty/20 World Cup trophy on June 29 with a nail-biting seven-run victory over South Africa at the Kensington Oval, Barbados in the final of the 2024 tournament.

Batting first, India got to an ambitious score of 176 for 7, with batsman Virat Kohli smacking a magnificent 76 off 59 balls as he anchored the innings beautifully after his team slipped to 34 for 3e in the fifth over.

Kohli started his innings belting three boundaries off the first over of the match by the lanky Marco Jansen. He shared in a 72-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Axar Patel who made 47 from 31 balls and he then put on 57 runs for the fifth wicket with Shivam Dube on 27 off 16 balls as India scored 58 runs off the last five overs giving them their total 176.

In reply, South Africa appeared to be in charge after 15 overs with their score being 147 for 4, which meant they had 30 runs to get off the last 30 balls. In the 15th over, the aggressive Heinrich Klaasen with 52 off 27 balls launched an assault on Axar Patel (1 for 49) with two sixes and two fours in an over, which cost India 24 runs.

Shortly after though, Klaasen was caught at the wicket by Rishabh Pant at the start of the 17th over from Hardik Pandya (3 for 20).

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada, right, celebrates the dismissal of India's Suryakumar Yadav during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup final cricket match between India and South Africa at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, June 29, 2024.
South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, right, celebrates the dismissal of India’s Suryakumar Yadav during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final cricket match between India and South Africa at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, June 29, 2024.AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan

The Proteas were 151 for five at the fall of Klaasen’s wicket, and India applied further pressure when Player of the Tournament Jasprit Bumrah (2 for 18) bowled Jansen for 2 leaving SA on 156 for 6 in the 18th over.

Needing 21 runs off the last 14 balls, and after a brilliant penultimate over by Arshdeep Singh with two for 20, South Africa required 16 runs off the last over.

South Africa’s David Miller with 21 off 17 balls was spectacularly caught on the long-off boundary by a juggling Suryakumar Yadav off the first ball of the final over by Pandya. Kagiso Rabada managed to edge the subsequent delivery for four, but Pandya and India held their nerves to get the win to add to their T20 World Cup title from 2007, the first-ever staging of the tournament.

After being named Man-of-the-Match, Kohli announced his retirement and said it would be his last T20 international match for India.

“This was my last T20 World Cup. And this is exactly what we wanted to achieve,” Kohli said.

“One day you feel like you can’t get a run, and then you come out and things happen.”

“I knew this was my last T20 game playing for India and it’s the last World Cup I was going to play. We wanted to win an ICC tournament and we wanted to lift the cup. It was the occasion that helped me to put my head down and just respect the occasion, rather than trying to force things out there.”

After six T20 World Cups, Kohli is the highest scorer in tournament history, just ahead of Sharma, but he’s decided to finish his 14-year T20 career on a high than stay to the next World Cup in 2026 co-hosted by India and Sri Lanka..

“It is time for the new generation to come through for India,” Kohli said. “We have some amazing players coming through and they have to take this team forwards now.

“I wasn’t feeling myself before today. I wasn’t confident. So I am very grateful and humble right now. It has been difficult, so there are a lot of emotions. It hasn’t quite sunk in for me yet. It’s an amazing day, I am so thankful.”