Champions Trophy: Kohli & Co. draw praise after demolishing Proteas
New Delhi [India], June 12 (ANI): The Virat Kohli-led side received a flurry of praises from the cricket fraternity after they booked their place in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy by outplaying top ODI-ranked South Africa in a must-win fixture at the Kennington Oval in London last evening.
Kohli's side had to win their final Group B fixture to avoid an embarrassing exit and they rose to the challenge with a ruthless display and defeated the Proteas by eight wickets to storm into the semi-finals of the ongoing event.
While the Indian batsmen finished things off in 38 overs, it was the bowling attack that set the win up by bowling out Proteas for a paltry 191.
Taking to his official Twitter account, Indian pacer Ishant Sharma hailed his side's `stunning` performance before expressing his pleasure to see their flag rise high at the Oval.
"Congrats TeamIndia, for the stunning performance…winning this crucial match. Happy to see Indian Flag Fly High at The Oval??#INDvsSA #CT17," Ishant tweeted.
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag also congratulated the Men in Blue on their solid victory and wished them good luck for their last-four clash.
"What a great victory for India. Solid performance. Good luck for the semi finals and finals.#INDvSA #CT17," Sehwag wrote on Twitter.
Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif said, "Congratulations India on a great victory. Good team selection and a clinical performance.#INDvSA #CT17."
While Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh called on his side to retain Champions Trophy, former England skipper Michael Vaughan is hoping to see the Kohli-led side in the finals against England.
"England v India Final anyone !!!!!!! #INDvSA #CT17," Vaughan wrote.
Ecstatic to see his side in the semi-finals, Manoj Tiwary admitted that special occasions always get the best out of his side.
"Special occasions get the best out of this Indian team. No different today, outplayed World No.1 team. Great to see India in semis ???? @BCCI," Tiwary said.
Chasing a lowly target of 192, the defending champions lost two wickets and crossed the line in just 38 overs.
India didn't have a great start to their chase as they lost Rohit Sharma (12) at team's score of 23. However, skipper Virat Kohli (76*), who came in next to bat, shared a 128-run partnership with opener Shikhar Dhawan (78).
The left-handed opener, who had been in tremendous form in the Champions Trophy, was once again at his menacing best as he thrashed the South Africa bowlers to all the parts of the ground.
In his 83-ball knock, Dhawan smashed 12 boundaries and a six while the swashbuckling Indian skipper accumulated 7 fours and a six in his 101-ball inning.
Posting a picture of him with Kohli and Umesh Yadav, Dhawan tweeted, " Happy times after winning d match!! Rabb da shukrana ada karte hue!! Rabb rakha."
India are almost certain to face Bangladesh in the semi-final at Edgbaston on June 15. (ANI)