SOUTH Africa’s Champions Trophy campaign is over after a shocking performance with the bat against the Indians, who are now through to the semi-finals.
The reigning champions were far too good for their opponents at the Oval as they won by eight wickets after easily chasing down a modest target of 192.
South Africa looked set to post a decent total midway through their innings, only for two run-outs in two overs to send the Proteas into a tailspin.
Having come out to the middle after Quinton de Kock was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 53, de Villiers looked set to leave his mark on the game. The South African skipper had cruised to 16 off and 16 and the pair had added 24 runs in as many balls.
At that stage, the Proteas were cruising at 3-140 in the 29th over, only for their hard work to be undone by an unnecessarily risky single.
After du Plessis nudged Jadeja to point, the South Africans decided to take on the arm of Hardik Pandya. It was a mistake, with de Villiers caught short of his crease by a pinpoint throw from the Indian all-rounder and the lightning hands of wicketkeeper MS Dhoni.
An over later David Miller (1) perished in comical fashion after both he and du Plessis found themselves at the same end of the pitch. Having under-edged Ravi Ashwin to third man, du Plessis set off for a single, before hesitating, setting off again and then aborting the run all-together and diving back into his crease. By that stage Miller had committed to the single and had also scurried to the striker’s end, allowing Kohli to complete the most simple of run-outs at the bowler’s end.
The run-out was aided by the poorest of throws from Jasprit Bumrah. Attempting to throw down the stumps at the striker’s end, Bumrah missed by a long way. So far in fact that Kohli collected the ball just metres away from the nonstriker’s end. Replays confirmed that du Plessis had made his ground before Miller, dooming the latter.
To make matters worse, du Plessis (36) fell just four overs later, chopping on to a slower ball from Hardik Pandya. Fittingly, South Africa’s innings came to an end in the 45th over when Imran Tahir was run-out after a miscommunication with JP Duminy. It completed a collapse that saw South Africa’s final eight wickets fall for 51 runs.