T20 World Cup: India lose 3 wickets early on in South Africa final clash

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T20 World Cup: India lose 3 wickets early on in South Africa final clash

India are 82-3 after 11 overs in their T20 World Cup final clash against South Africa at the Kensington Oval on Saturday.

India lost major wickets early on as captain Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant were knocked out in the second over courtesy of Keshav Maharaj.

India’s Suryakumar Yadav was caught out courtesy of Kagiso Rabada in the fifth over.

Earlier, Sharma won the toss and opted to bat in the final. The toss was held in bright sunshine and with a gusty wind blowing across the 28,000 capacity venue.

Rohit and his South African counterpart Aiden Markram both named unchanged line-ups from the teams which won their respective semi-finals.

The possibility of stormy weather over the weekend, with some rain forecast for Saturday, had raised concerns among organisers but as early arrivals began taking their seats there was no sign of rain.

The final concludes a nearly month-long tournament and features two teams who have been unbeaten throughout the competition.

The 28,000-capacity venue, regarded by many as the spiritual home of West Indies cricket, is expected to be sold out with many Indian fans travelling from afar for the match.

Even if some showers pass through, the expectation is that the reserve date of Sunday will not be necessary.

A tournament which has been a mixed bag in terms of quality, entertainment and attendance has certainly succeeded in setting up a final between the two best teams in the shortest format.

India crushed defending champions England by 68 runs in Guyana on Thursday, the day after South Africa thrashed Afghanistan by nine wickets in Trinidad to end a long and agonising wait for a title game.

Since entering World Cups in 1991, following the end of apartheid, South Africa had lost seven semi-finals in the two short formats.

This will be South Africa’s first senior men’s final since the inaugural Champions Trophy in Bangladesh in 1998 when the Proteas beat the West Indies in the title match.

India experienced double disappointment last year of defeat in the World Test Championship final and the 50-over World Cup — losing both to Australia.

The country, which more than any other popularised the shortest form with the hugely successful Indian Premier League, now stands on the brink of its second T20 World Cup title and first since the inaugural edition in 2007.

Squads
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Suryakumar Yadav, Shivam Dube, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram (captain), Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shams.