T20 World Cup: India set 177-run target for South Africa in final clash

T20 World Cup: India lose Kohli as South Africa final clash nears end of 1st innings

BARBADOS: South Africa made early gains sending Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and top-order batters Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav to dugout in the thrilling T20 World Cup 2024 final at the Kensington Oval Barbados, on Saturday. 

Earlier, India chose to bat first against the Proteas and made a dashing start as opener Virat Kohli smashed multiple boundaries during the first two overs. 

The match is expected to be an absolute cracker as both teams looking to end long waits for glory after weeks of thrilling matches and finest cricket in the shortest format. 

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

The final concludes a near month-long tournament, held in the USA and the Caribbean and features two teams who have yet to lose in the competition.

The event which has been a mixed bag in terms of quality, entertainment and attendances 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 their first appearance at a World Cup in 1992, following the end of apartheid, South Africa had lost seven semi-finals in the two limited overs 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.

India experienced the 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 now stands on the brink of their second T20 World Cup title and first since the inaugural edition in 2007.