Rohit Sharma Kisses Emotional Hardik Pandya After Last Over Heroics

In an electrifying final at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, India clinched the T20 World Cup 2024 title, ending a 13-year drought. Virat Kohli, who played a pivotal role in India’s victory, announced his retirement from T20 internationals at the post-match presentation.

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, India faced early setbacks with the dismissals of captain Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, and Suryakumar Yadav within the Powerplay. However, Virat Kohli, partnering with Axar Patel, stabilized the innings. Kohli’s watchful yet aggressive knock saw him score a vital half-century, reaching 50 off 48 balls in the 17th over. His innings, complemented by a quickfire 27 from Shivam Dube, helped India post a competitive total of 176/7 on the board.

In response, South Africa’s chase got off to a shaky start, losing Reeza Hendricks and captain Aiden Markram early. Quinton de Kock and Tristan Stubbs tried to rebuild, but regular wickets kept the pressure on the Proteas. Heinrich Klaasen played a valiant innings, scoring 52 off 27 balls, but it wasn’t enough. With South Africa needing 16 runs off the final over, Hardik Pandya’s brilliant bowling, combined with Suryakumar Yadav’s stunning catch to dismiss David Miller, sealed the victory for India by 8 runs. Post the victory, Rohit Sharma kissed the emotional Hardik Pandya.

Virat Kohli’s Retirement

In a surprising turn of events, Virat Kohli announced his retirement from T20 internationals during the post-match presentation ceremony. Kohli, who was named Player of the Match, expressed his gratitude to fans and teammates, reflecting on his T20I journey. His retirement marks the end of an era for Indian cricket, with Kohli leaving behind a legacy as one of the greatest T20I batsmen.

Record-Breaking Viewership

The final attracted a record-breaking 5 crore viewers on Hotstar, the highest ever for the T20I World Cup. The massive viewership highlights the immense popularity of the tournament and Kohli’s drawing power as a cricketing icon.

India’s Bowling Prowess

India’s bowlers were instrumental in the win, with Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh providing crucial breakthroughs early on. Bumrah’s economical spell and Arshdeep’s two key wickets pegged back the South African innings. Axar Patel, despite being expensive, managed to get the important wicket of Tristan Stubbs. Hardik Pandya’s all-round performance, including his match-winning three-wicket haul, was pivotal in the death overs.

South Africa’s Fight

South Africa fought valiantly, with Klaasen and Miller keeping their hopes alive till the end. However, their efforts were in vain as India’s disciplined bowling and exceptional fielding, especially Suryakumar Yadav’s catch, thwarted their chase.

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