NEW DELHI: With 30 needed off 30 balls, six wickets in hand and a dangerous Heinrich Klaasen leading the charge, South Africa looked all set for their first ever T20 World Cup triumph in Barbados on Saturday.
Klaasen was batting on 49 at the end of the 15th over, he had swashbuckling David Miller on the other side, who too had settled in and was on 14 off 7 balls.
South Africa’s scorecard read 147 for four in 15 overs in 177-run chase as a 24-run 15th over from Axar Patel had almost sealed a famous Proteas win.
The Kensington Oval, filled with a Sea of Blue, had gone almost silent as all of a sudden now it was South Africa’s game to lose.
But hell broke loose for the Proteas after that as India made a comeback of the ages from the 16th over onwards.
Carrying on the tag of ‘chokers’ for over two decades now, South Africa did the unimaginable and so did India as the game turned on its head.
Not budging down despite immense pressure, a calculated Rohit Sharma threw in his trump card, bringing in Jasprit Bumrah for his third over.
The pacer, who had conceded just 12 in his opening two-over spell and was India’s best bet, came in and bowled a heart-stopping 16th over. Giving away just 4 runs in it, Bumrah kept India’s hopes alive and that’s where South Africa’s choking in the chase began.
Although the win predictor still showed 92% Proteas win and India’s chances at only 8% after 16 overs, the reality on the ground looked different.

The equation was now 26 off 24 as Hardik Pandya came back into the attack to bowl the 17th over.
Dismissing a fifty-up Heinrich Klaasen on the first ball of the over, Hardik broke the backbone of the Proteas chase.
As a potentially match winning knock from Klaasen ended via a caught behind dismissal, India were now right back in the contest.
In the 17th over, Hardik gave just 4 runs apart from the Klaasen wicket as South Africa now needed 22 off 18.
For Rohit now, it was a tough choice, whether to give Bumrah the 18th or the 19th over and the skipper went with the former.
After a couple of dot balls and a single, Bumrah knocked over Marco Jansen (2) on the fourth ball as David Miller, at the non-striker’s end helplessly watched the Proteas implosion.
With just two runs and a wicket coming in the 18th Bumrah over, the pressure was now all on South Africa.
Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh then came in and delivered an incredible penultimate over, giving away just 4 runs to David Miller (21*) and Keshav Maharaj (2*).
The four exceptional overs after the 16th had now given Hardik 16 to defend in the final over.
On the first ball of the final Hardik over, Surykumar Yadav, at long-off pulled off the catch for the ages to get rid of Miller for 21 as India delivered the knockout punch to the Proteas.
With Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada now in the middle and 16 to defend off 5 balls, Hardik finished off the job with perfection as India sealed a famous seven-run win.