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India win T20 World Cup as South Africa’s drought continues

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India have won their first T20 World Cup since 2007, defeating South Africa by seven runs in the final in Barbados on Sunday morning (AEST).

In doing so, India lived up to their pre-tournament betting odds, with most cricket bookmakers projecting the world No.1 side to lift the trophy.

It took a phenomenal effort from their bowlers to do so. At one stage it seemed as though South Africa had done enough to break their 26-year ICC title drought.

That is, until Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya closed the match out with expert style.

Kohli stands tall as India post solid total

After winning the toss, captain Rohit Sharma opted to take the fight to South Africa and bat first.

That decision initially seemed to backfire, as Sharma fell early despite being in hot form.

Virat Kohli stepped up to the mantle, however. The star batsman top scored with 76 from 59 balls, only falling in the 19th over.

He was kept company for the majority of his innings by Axar Patel, who made 47 from 31, and Shivam Dube, who scored 27 from 16.

Kohli’s knock led India to a strong total of 176/7 — nothing earth-shattering, but certainly a challenging chase in a T20 World Cup final.

South Africa in control until bowlers step up

In response, South Africa had an early wobble. Both Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram fell early, leaving the Proteas teetering at 12/2.

Tristan Stubbs and Quniton de Kock stabilised, however, taking the Proteas through to 70/2.

Several more strong partnerships served them well, putting South Africa in control of the game.

At one stage, South Africa were sitting pretty, requiring just 30 runs from 30 balls with plenty of wickets in hand and two established batsmen at the crease.

If you had put a bet on India to win at this stage, T20 betting sites were giving juicy live odds for the world No.1 to take home the trophy.

And yet they did, thanks to the efforts of Bumrah and Pandya.

The former came on to bowl the 16th over, keeping it to four runs. The latter then took the 17th, also conceding only four runs and claiming a wicket.

Bumrah then bowled another, leaking just two runs and taking another wicket.

Arshdeep Singh then joined in the fun, taking care of the 19th over and giving away just four runs as well.

Suddenly, 30 from 30 had become 16 from six, and Pandya had the ball for the final over.

The all-rounder struck with his first delivery, taking his second wicket in as many overs. A third wicket followed five balls later.

By this stage the match was won, with Pandya conceding just eight runs from the last over.

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