India will face South Africa in their last Group B game on Sunday, which is like one of the two quarterfinals of the Group. The team that is able to hold its nerve will go to the semis. With five games out of nine affected by rains, a washout will put India in the semi-final. According to website weather.com, while the day is likely to remain partly cloudy, the possibility of rain is remote.
After the shocking loss to Sri Lanka, Team India will be keen to ensure that the South Africans aren't able to shake off the tag of being chokers. According to reports, South Africa's management is trying to keep the team calm ahead of its must-win match against India at The Oval on Sunday. The irony is that if India loses the game, then the defending champions will head back home. And if South Africa tastes defeat, it will mean the end of the tournament for the top-ranked ODI side. The odds are in favour of India, which has beaten South Africa thrice in the Champions trophy. On two ocassions, India defeated South Africa in the semi-finals.
Here are the snapshots of the earlier clashes between India and South Africa in the Champions Trophy.
ICC Knockout Tournament 2000: Nairobi
Winning the 1998 ICC knockout tournament, South Africa were the favourites to win the first semi-final. But an unbeaten 141 from 142 balls by Sourav Ganguly turned fortune in India's favour. Ganguly nurtured his innings cautiously, but went airborne when left-arm spinner Boje came on at the halfway mark. Ganguly hit three mighty sixes off Boje in two overs to give India the edge. Yuvraj Singh's 41 from 35 ball, with three boundaries in the 47th over off Allan Donald, marked his entry in international cricket. India were heading for 300 when they were bowled out in the last over by Donald, who took three wickets for just two runs. South Africa were under pressure to score quickly and lost their top four batsman in under eight overs. They couldn't recover from the top order collapse and eventually lost by 95 runs.
Champions trophy 2002: Colombo
With 14 overs left and just about 70 runs to make, this match was as good as lost by India. But it was here that the Proteas proved, once again, that they are the masters of the late choke.
Chasing 261, Hershelle Gibbs had torn the bowling to confetti with some magnificent cover-drives, sweeps and contemptuous pulls. But a cramp attack in both hands forced him off the field, retired hurt, after 37 overs and the remaining batsmen just fell apart. Jonty Rhodes' top-edged sweep off Harbhajan Singh was superbly caught, one-handed, by Yuvraj, and when Dippenaar and Boucher holed out, the onus was on Jacques Kallis and Lance Klusener to see them home. Ganguly's gamble to have Sehwag bowl the 42nd over on a slow Colombo track paid off and turned the tide in India's favour. In the final over, Africa needed 21 runs. A Kallis slog-sweep for six off Sehwag gave the Indians a bit of a shock. But on the next ball Rahul Dravid caught Kallis off Sehwag and, eventually, India won by 10 runs. Earlier, Sehwag made 59 off 58 balls and a partnership between Yuvraj and Dravid got India to a respectable total of 261.
Champions Trophy 2013: Cardiff
Shikhar Dhawan set the tournament afire with his maiden one-day international century in the 2013 edition of the Champions Trophy. India made a solid start with Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, who were opening for the first time for the national side in an ODI. Dhawan made 114 off 94 balls while Rohit got out on 65. India lost momentum after Dhawan's wicket, but some power hitting by Ravindra Jadeja, who scored 47 off 29 balls, got the team to a more-than-defendable 331. Chasing a big total, Hashim Amla and Ingram fell early. Peterson and AB deVillers had a 100-run partnership before Peterson got run out. The team recovered some momentum from there, but despite a 61-ball 71 runs from Mclaren, the Proteas lost to India by 26 runs.