Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli powered the Indian cricket team to a thrilling seven-run win against South Africa in the final of the T20 World Cup 2024 at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Saturday.

India won their second T20 World Cup after 17 years since they won the inaugural edition in 2007.

Hardik prized out Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller in his game-changing spell of 3/20 in three overs as India restricted South Africa to 169/8. Klaasen hit 52 off 27 including five sixes and two fours while Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh picked up two wickets each.

Virat Kohli top-scored in the contest with 76 off 59 balls powering India to 176/7, the highest total in a T20 World Cup final. Kohli’s knock was laced with two sixes and six boundaries. Axar Patel also came up with a crucial knock of 47 from 31 balls while Keshav Maharaj and Anrich Nortje picked up two wickets apiece for South Africa.

Opting to bat first, India got off to a flying start with Kohli hitting three boundaries in the first over. However, Keshav Maharaj picked up two wickets in his first over, against the run of play and India ended the powerplay at 45/3.

Kohli and Axar rebuilt the Indian innings with a 72-run partnership for the fourth wicket in just 54 balls. Axar was looking good for his second T20I fifty before getting run out with the score reading 106.

Player of the Match Kohli reached his first fifty of the tournament and shifted gears hitting 26 runs off the last 11 balls he faced before holing out in the deep. Shivam Dube too shone with a late cameo to set the Proteas a target of 177. 

For South Africa, Maharaj picked up 2/23 while Nortje finished with 2/26 in his four overs.

In return, Jasprit Bumrah struck in his first over castling Reeza Hendricks with a beautiful outswinger. Arshdeep Singh put the Proteas on the backfoot dismissing skipper Aiden Markram in the next over but South Africa reached 42/2 after the first six overs.

Axar provided the key breakthrough by dismissing Tristan Stubbs, who added 58 runs for the third wicket with Quinton de Kock. Just as de Kock was looking to take the game away from India, Arshdeep got him out for 39.

But, Klaasen hit two sixes and two fours for a 24-run over off Axar to turn the tide in favour of the Proteas. He powered to his fifty in just 23 balls as the equation reduced to 27 runs from 28 balls.

There was another twist in the tale as Klaasen departed in the next over. Another wicket and a few tight overs meant South Africa required 16 from the last six balls. Suryakumar Yadav pulled off a breathtaking catch in the deep to send back David Miller off Hardik Pandya.

With both big-hitters back in the hut, South Africa fell short by seven runs. Arshdeep finished the tournament as the joint-highest wicket-taker with 17 wickets from eight matches. Bumrah won the Player of the Tournament for his consistent performances throughout the T20 World Cup picking up 15 wickets at an unbelievable economy of  4.17. 

IND vs SA T20 World Cup 2024 final brief scores: India 176/7 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 76, Axar Patel 47, Keshav Maharaj 2/23, Anrich Nortje 2/26) beat South Africa 169/8 in 20 overs (Heinrich Klaasen 52, Quinton de Kock 39, Hardik Pandya Jasprit Bumrah 2/18) by seven runs.