India's Yuvaj Singh (right) celebrates with Virat Kohli at the end of their match against South Africa at the The Oval in Britain on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS
India's Yuvaj Singh (right) celebrates with Virat Kohli at the end of their match against South Africa at the The Oval in Britain on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS

London — India crushed SA by eight wickets on Sunday to reach the Champions Trophy semifinals and knock the top-ranked team out of the tournament.

SA crumbled from 116/1 to 191 all out in good batting conditions at The Oval before Shikhar Dhawan (78) and Virat Kohli (76 not out) shared a fluent partnership of 128 to lead India to victory with 12 overs to spare.

The defending champions followed hosts England and Bangladesh into the last four and will be joined by the winners of the final Group B game between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

SA started cautiously after being sent in to bat as Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock added 76 for the first wicket.

Amla raised the tempo with a six over mid-wicket but, on 35, he tried to cut spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and nicked a sharp catch to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

SA were 94/1 after 20 overs and De Kock reached a tidy half-century off 68 balls before he was deceived by spinner Ravindra Jadeja and bowled for 53.

SA then pressed the self-destruct button with two run-outs in quick succession.

AB de Villiers, on 16, perished trying to pinch a quick single and David Miller (one) was dismissed in farcical circumstances with both batsmen stranded at the same end to leave SA struggling at 142/4.

Their hopes of a substantial total rested on the shoulders of Faf du Plessis, but his scratchy knock of 36 ended when he dragged a ball from Hardik Pandya on to his stumps.

Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada and Morné Morkel soon joined him back in the pavilion. The innings petered out in the 45th over when Imran Tahir became the third run-out victim.

India began their reply positively and both openers had struck sixes before Rohit Sharma drove loosely at Morkel and was caught by wicketkeeper De Kock for 12.

Kohli joined Dhawan and after surviving hostile spells from Morkel and Rabada the Indian pair started to play with greater freedom.

Yuvraj Singh hoisted JP Duminy over mid-wicket for a huge six to complete the most comfortable of wins for his team.

Reuters

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