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4.6 overs (0 Run) Takes pace off this time, on a length and on off, Rohit Sharma looks to push it away but gets beaten as the ball goes on two bounces to the keeper. 16 runs off the over!
4.5 overs (6 Runs) SIX! Rohit Sharma clears the fence again! Lungi Ngidi lands this back of a length and around middle, Rohit Sharma picks up the length very early and heaves it over the vacant deep square leg fence for another biggie.
4.4 overs (0 Run) Goes fuller again, on off, Rohit Sharma taps it out towards short covers.
4.3 overs (6 Runs) SIX! BANG! Rohit Sharma goes big now! Lungi Ngidi bowls this one full but on the pads, Rohit Sharma picks it up nicely and whips it over the deep backward square leg fence for an easy maximum.
4.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Another boundary! Lungi Ngidi serves a loopy low full toss, on middle, Rohit Sharma goes through his shot early and toe-ends it but the ball still goes over mid-wicket and beats the chasing mid on fielder to the fence for four runs.
4.1 overs (0 Run) Fuller one and around off, Rohit Sharma leans on and blocks it out solidly.
3.6 overs (0 Run) Short of a length and around off, Shubman Gill bunts it down towards point.
3.5 overs (1 Run) DROPPED! Marco Jansen pitches this one up, outside off, tempting the batter, Rohit Sharma goes for it but slices it in the air towards third man where Tabraiz Shamsi runs forward and dives but fails to reach it. They cross. Rohit Sharma get a life here!
3.4 overs (0 Run) Fullish and on off, Rohit Sharma blocks it out.
3.3 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Mistimes the shot but gets the desired result! This is full and around off, Rohit Sharma looks to drive it through covers but hits it with the bottom part of the bat as the ball races past mid on for another boundary.
3.3 overs (1 Run) Short of a length and outside off, Rohit Sharma throws his bat at it but misses it. It is called a wide.
3.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Rohit Sharma is in the mood here! Marco Jansen lands this back of a length and around middle, sits up nicely for the batter, Rohit Sharma pulls it off the front foot, he fails to get the perfect connection but there is no fielder in the deep mid-wicket region and the ball rolls over the fence for a boundary.
3.1 overs (0 Run) This is on a good length and around off, Rohit Sharma keeps it out to the off side.
2.6 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Excellent batting! Lungi Ngidi goes a bit too full this time, on middle, angling in too, Shubman Gill waits for it and once again whips it with amazing timing through mid-wicket for four more runs.
2.5 overs (0 Run) On a length and around middle, angling in, Shubman Gill pats it down in front of short mid-wicket.
2.4 overs (1 Run) A slower one now, full and around leg, Rohit Sharma clips it through backward square leg for a single.
2.3 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Runs are flowing at the Eden Gardens! Lungi Ngidi serves this full and around off this time, Rohit Sharma strides forward and drills it from the middle of the bat through extra covers for another boundary.
2.2 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! You cannot bowl there to Rohit Sharma! Lungi Ngidi lands this on a hard length and outside off, Rohit Sharma frees his arms and absolutely carves it over point for a boundary.
2.1 overs (0 Run) Fuller and in the blockhole, on middle, angling in, Rohit Sharma knocks it towards mid on.
1.6 overs (0 Run) Short of a length this time, outside off, Shubman Gill offers no shot at it again. 17 runs off the over!
1.5 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Beautiful shot! Marco Jansen serves this full and on middle this time, Shubman Gill takes a small step forward and uses his wrists well to flick it with exquisite timing through mid-wicket for four more runs.
1.4 overs (0 Run) Back of a length and around off, angling away, Shubman Gill lets it go to the keeper.
1.4 overs (1 Run) Marco Jansen is struggling here! He pulls his length back a bit but down the leg side again, Shubman Gill misses his glance. Wided again!
1.3 overs (4 Runs) FOUR! Lovely shot! Marco Jansen overpitches this delivery, on off, Shubman Gill leans on nicely onto his drive and creams it through covers for another boundary.
1.2 overs (0 Run) Much better! This is on a good length again, on off, Shubman Gill pushes it towards covers.
1.2 overs (1 Run) Adjusts his length and bowls this full but this time way outside off, Shubman Gill offers no shot at it. It is called a wide again.
1.2 overs (5 Runs) FIVE WIDES! A gift from Marco Jansen! He loses his line and bowls this on a hard length and way, way down the leg side, Shubman Gill is nowhere near the ball as Quinton de Kock behind the stumps also has no chance of stopping that and the ball races to the fine leg fence for a boundary.
1.2 overs (1 Run) Goes fuller but sliding down the leg side, Shubman Gill leaves it alone. Wided.
1.1 overs (1 Run) Good start from Marco Jansen! He begins with a good-length delivery, on middle, shaping away a bit, Rohit Sharma looks to work it away but gets squared up as the ball goes off the outside edge towards third man for a single.
Marco Jansen to steam in from the other end.
0.6 over (1 Run) Another pitched-up delivery, outside off, Rohit Sharma looks to drive but gets an outside edge as the ball flies through gully towards third man. They cross. Five runs from the first over then!
0.5 over (0 Run) Lungi Ngidi continues with his fuller length, on middle, angling in, Rohit Sharma blocks it with a straight bat back to the bowler.
0.4 over (4 Runs) FOUR! Rohit Sharma gets off the mark in style at his second home! Lungi Ngidi pitches this one up again and around off, Rohit Sharma uses his feet and lofts it over extra covers for a boundary, India are underway!
0.3 over (0 Run) Good stuff from Ngidi! He goes a touch fuller this time, on middle, shaping in sharply, Rohit Sharma looks to play at it but misses and gets hit on the pads. It is going down the leg side.
0.2 over (0 Run) Lungi Ngidi lands this on a good length and outside off, no movement this time, Rohit Sharma lets it go to the keeper.
0.1 over (0 Run) Lungi Ngidi starts with a full delivery, right on the money, on off, shaping in, Rohit Sharma drives it nicely towards mid off.
Done with the pre-match formalities and it is now time to get the play underway. The two umpires are out in the middle and so are the players of South Africa. The Indian coach Rahul Dravid rings the bell to mark the start of the match. The Indian openers, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill too stride out to the middle. Lungi Ngidi has the new ball in hand and is raring to go. Let’s play…
We are minutes away from the start of this much-awaited clash! But first, the two teams will line up along with the mascots for their respective national anthems. It will be the national anthem of South Africa first, followed by the Indian national anthem.
Temba Bavuma, the skipper of South Africa says that they would have batted first as well. Adds that it will be nice challenge to chase as that is an area where they need to gain more confidence. Mentions that they have been performing consistently and will look to improve going forward in the tournament. Informs they have made one change as Tabraiz Shamsi comes in for Gerald Coetzee.
Rohit Sharma, the captain of India says that they will bat first. Adds that it looks like a good pitch but it’s more about what they want to do as a team. Mentions that it is going to be a good game between two top sides who have played consistent cricket and it will be a challenge and it will be nice to come out on top in this game. Says that he loves to play here as a player and the team too loves to play here. Informs that they are playing the same team and reckons they don’t need to change anything and the bowling lineup has done the job in the last few matches.
South Africa (Playing XI) – Quinton de Kock (WK), Temba Bavuma (C), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi (In place of Gerald Coetzee).
India (Unchanged Playing XI) – Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.
TOSS – Rohit Sharma flips the coin and it lands in favour of him. India have elected to BAT first.
PITCH REPORT – Ravi Shashtri and Irfan Pathan are pitchside. They say that this pitch looks much better than the last game that was played in this stadium. It will still assist the spinners and there are more patches on this track. The pitch has got some tan to it and there more grass as well but both sides have all bases covered. The skipper winning the last should look to bat first is their final conclusion.
Virat Kohli, the talismanic Indian batter turns 35 today and he returns to the ground where he scored his first ODI hundred and will once again be in search of that record-equalling 49th ODI ton. A massive occasion for both teams but a very special one for Kohli. The toss is coming up in a bit.
South Africa, on the other hand, became the second team to qualify for the semis thanks to a stunning win for Pakistan against the Kiwis. The Proteas batting has been sensational with Quinton de Kock leading the run-scorers charts with three hundreds as well. Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Heinrich Klaasen, and David Miller all have played some fantastic knocks in different matches which has helped them to get to this position. However, they have struggled a bit while chasing targets and that is an area they will need to work on quickly as we are in the business end of this mega event. Their bowling also has been excellent with Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, and Lungi Ngidi getting those crucial breakthroughs while Kagiso Rabada is still searching for his top form. Keshav Maharaj handles the spin department while Tabraiz Shamsi can be another good option on slow wickets. They destroyed New Zealand in their last game and will be riding high on confidence to put up a real challenge for the hosts. Will they become the first team to defeat India? Or will the Men in Blue continue their dominating win streak? We will find out soon. Toss and team news in a bit.
India have been absolutely terrific in this World Cup and are on a dream run with seven consecutive victories. Their batting has been brilliant and if Rohit Sharma doesn’t get you, Virat Kohli will and if he fails then KL Rahul or Shubman Gill will step up. The positive for them is that Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer both scored runs in the last game and found their form back. Kohli just missed out on equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 49 hundreds in ODIs but the occasion is perfect for him to achieve that feat in this game on his birthday and at the ground where he scored his first ever ODI hundred. The only setback for them is that Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the tournament but their balance hasn’t been affected that much. Mohammed Shami has been breathing fire since getting back in the team while Mohammed Siraj also found his rhythm against Lanka and Jasprit Bumrah has been consistently good at all phases of the game. The spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja also has been contributing well and they will hope they continue to perform in all three departments and make it eight wins in a row.
Hello and welcome folks! The stage is set for the battle of the bests at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. It is first vs second, it is the best bowling attack against the best batting, it is India taking on South Africa with the top spot on the line. The hosts are still unbeaten and with another win here can cement their league leaders status while the high-flying Proteas will hope to spoil the party and break the winning run of India.
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