The India-South Africa encounter was each of the team’s last game in Group B and the points table was poised in such an intense situation that the victor made it to the semis and the loser to the airport tarmac.
India strolled into the Champions Trophy semifinals after routing South Africa for 191 at The Oval June 11.
AB DE Villiers says he is the man to lead South Africa to a World Cup win despite another humiliating exit from a global one-day tournament.
However, skipper Virat Kohli (76*), who came in next to bat, shared a 128-run partnership with opener Shikhar Dhawan (78).
But it was the bowlers who were hailed by Kohli after the convincing win. “I can’t explain to you what exactly happens”, he said.
“It is important to grab those opportunities”.
“All of the bowlers executed their plan so well in such a big game and to be able to bowl like that against a batting line up of their ability, we can feel confident and would like to take it forward into the semis”.
“The small things are something we are focusing on”. You play different teams all the time on different venues.
De Villiers endured a miserable tournament, scoring only 20 runs, while his team came in for heavy criticism after losing twice in three matches. “So the communication between the two of us was just for the next 5 overs”.
They were able to rest easy in the clubhouse while the top-order batsmen took care of business before a sell-out crowd of 22,828.
One-day worldwide captain De Villiers, who will not be available for the Test series, will therefore step in for this month’s Twenty20s – in charge of a 14-man squad minus several regulars and featuring one player yet to be capped in the sprint format, Dwaine Pretorius.
With him hovering like Banquo’s ghost, extra scrutiny has been placed on De Villiers’ leadership, most recently in the defeat by Pakistan at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
“Not a lot of people believe that but I think that (winning a tournament) is not that far away”, the 33-year-old said.