Virtual Five5 Cricket World Championship 2020: Talking points from Day 5
The Virtual Five5 Cricket World Championship 2020 moved into the last leg on Sunday, with the toppers of Group A taking on the Group B runner-up and vice versa in the semi-finals to decide who would duke it out in the final.
As usual, there were some brilliant performances in the simulated reality league cricket tournament.
Here, we look at what transpired throughout the day and bring you the summary of each game.
SA vs WI: SA win by three runs
SA won the toss and elected to bat. An aggressive start from Quincy De Kock ensured a heady flow of runs early for SA. Though Oshane Thomas halted the gush of runs temporarily by scalping Hanif Amla, Fabian du Plessis put an end to any hopes of respite for the WI side, whacking off a hat-trick of boundaries in the fourth over.
Only a tight final over from Jackson Holder halted the bleeding somewhat and kept SA at 51.
While WI did not lose a single wicket, they did struggle to find the boundaries, with Caris Gayle and Evin Lewes together managing just five.
The WI innings was controlled by openers Caris Gayle and Evin Lewes throughout, with both batsmen putting together respectable knocks. However, a dearth of boundaries (5) didn't help matters and a 48-run stand, in the end, denied them a chance at the final.
IND vs ENG: IND win by 12 runs
ENG won the toss and decided to field. Their decision looked like a smart one as a messy start from IND saw two of its most dependable batsmen - Rohan Sharma and Viraj Kohli - drop out in subsequent balls during the opening over itself.
However, Shikhar Dhaven avoided any further pitfalls to rack up a 13-ball 27, including five boundaries, and later partnered with MS Dhanraj to put together a 29-run stand that saw IND set the target at 49 for ENG.
IND's stand proved to be a bridge too far from ENG. After James Butler got scalped before he even got to stretch his legs, Jackson Bairstow and skipper Ian Morgan played a cautious innings that didn't trouble the scorer too much, ending the day with just 39 runs on the board for ENG and set up a SA vs IND finale.
SA vs IND: IND win by nine wickets
SA elected to bat after winning the toss and while things got off well for them, with a hapless Jasprit Bamra allowing SA to savour a juicy 12-run haul in the first over, IND's bowlers soon tightened their grip over the proceedings.
Kailash Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahar ensured no boundaries in the following two overs and Bhuvan Kumar took out de Kock in the fourth. However, the always-dependable du Plessis played Kumar for a trio of fours before Rajindra Jadeja once again limited the damage in the final over.
While their skill with the ball may have been up and down, IND's batting prowess on the day was stellar, as the Men in Blue made short work of the 45-run target.
Rohan Sharma redeemed himself from his semi-final disappointment with a heady knock of 38 off 14 deliveries, including three sixes and four boundaries.
While Dhaven fell by the wayside on the third over, the day belonged to the 'Hitman', whose heroics eased India to 47 runs with five balls to spare and the Virtual Five5 Cricket World Championship 2020 title.