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India edge S Africa in thriller to win T20 World Cup title

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados :India were crowned Twenty20 World Cup champions after a seven-run victory over South Africa in a heart-stopping final at the Kensington Oval on Saturday.

Electing to bat on a dry surface, 2007 champions India overcame a top-order meltdown to post a competitive 176-7, the highest total in a T20 World Cup final.

Virat Kohli (76) made his first 50 of this World Cup and Axar Patel smashed 47 to power India to a healthy score.

The Proteas also suffered an early collapse but Quinton de Kock (39) and Tristan Stubbs (31) put their chase back on track.

Heinrich Klaasen (52) counter-attacked in spectacular fashion but India's impeccable death-overs bowling restricted South Africa to 169-8.

"We play the sport for this, I am really over the moon," said India's pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, adjudged player-of-the-tournament.

"We've been working really hard towards this, no better feeling than that.

"We play sport for the big stages. On the big day, you have to give more."

The trophy ended India's 11-year wait for a global title and most of the players were in tears after the victory, while their South African counterparts looked desolate.

After Klaasen plundered 24 runs from Axar's final over, South Africa looked to be cruising to victory, needing 30 runs from 30 balls with six wickets in hand.

Bumrah returned to stop the run flow, however, and Hardik Pandya dismissed Klaasen to change the momentum.

With David Miller in the middle South Africa still looked well capable of scoring 20 runs from the last 12 balls.

But Arshdeep Singh conceded only four runs in the penultimate over and Pandya gave away only eight in the final one to seal an emotional victory.