South Africa sneak into semifinals

Proteas pip West Indies after rain forces tie through D/L method

South Africa sneak into semifinals

South Africa sneaked into the semifinals of the Champions Trophy from Group ‘B’ through Duckworth/Lewis method here on Friday.

Colin Ingram’s fluent fifty led South Africa to 230/6 in a rain-hit tie that saw the game reduced to 31-overs-a-side affair. In reply, West Indies reached 190/6 in 26.1 overs when skies opened up to halt the proceedings.

Windies were then on par with the D/L score of 190, making the match a tie. As such, both the sides ended with three points each but South Africa moved into the semis by virtue of their superior run-rate (+0.642) to the West Indies (-0.422).

Earlier, opener Ingram struck a fluent half-century while David Miller played an unbeaten cameo of 38 as South Africa posted a formidable total.  South Africa’s fifth-wicket pair of Miller and Faf du Plessis (32-ball 35) put on display some sensational strokeplay at the business end of the innings and added 68 runs in just 48 deliveries to put their side in the driver’s seat. From 153 for four in the 23rd over, both took their side to 221 for five as the last five overs yielded 52 runs for the Proteas.

Miller’s unbeaten knock of 38 was laced with three huge sixes and a four while Plessis decorated his useful innings with three fours and a six. Earlier, Ingram hit 63-ball 73 laced with six fours and two sixes while skipper AB de Villiers hit a 25-ball 37 after South Africa were invited to bat first under overcast conditions at Sophia Gardens.

The match started three hours and 15 minutes later than the scheduled toss due to inclement weather, reducing it to a 31-over-a-side encounter. The match was reduced by 19 overs each way, with the Powerplay adjusted to nine overs a side, with six mandatory overs upfront, and three for the batting Powerplay.

South Africa made a confident start in their bid to book a semifinal berth as the opening duo of Ingram and Hashim Amla (23) added 80 runs for the first wicket in 12.1 overs.

Ingram was the more aggressive of the two as he mixed caution with aggression to pace his innings while Amla was content to play the second fiddle at the other end.

Ingram brought up his fifty in the 12th over with a powerful pull shot played over mid-wicket off Darren Sammy.

West Indies pulled things back with two quick strikes as Ingram and J P Duminy (2) departed in quick succession. Miller and Plessis then combined well and punished Windies’ bowlers with their powerful strikes.

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