The highs and lows of a T20 World Cup final

South Africa players distraught over their loss in the T20 final at Barbados. Source: Getty Images.


On June 29th 2024 at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown Barbados, one team was in ecstasy and the other in complete agony. Such contrasting emotions tend to occur when a final of a major global tournament is played. The scenes were extraordinary as players from both India and South Africa were in tears. Rohit Sharma lying on the ground thanking the heavens, whilst David Miller looked distraught in the dressing room. Once again South Africa choked when it mattered the most. India victorious in the 2024 T20 World Cup final clinching victory from the jaws of defeat.

     Despite an unbeaten run leading up to the World Cup final, South Africa have still not won a cricket World Cup. It was an overall excellent final and the spectators viewing the game at the picturesque Oval would have surely gotten their money’s worth. Millions of television viewers around the World would have been at he edge of their living room sofas in the final stages of this epic showdown. When 16 runs were needed off the final over bowled by Hardik Pandya, South Africa would have been optimistic with the dangerous David Miller at the crease. When the first ball of the final over was smashed straight down the ground, that was going comfortably for half a dozen till Suryakumar Yadav patrolling the log-off boundary, took what was described as one of the greatest catches pulled off in a World Cup final. Television replays initially showed it to be a clean catch without his feet touching the rope, however, pictures circulating over the social media suggested the boundary line was not in its original position.

    Sports often involve close contests and emotional highs and lows, and handling disappointment is an inherent part of the journey for athletes and fans alike.

     According to the rules of this glorious game, before the toss is taken the umpires shall determine the boundary of the field of play, which shall be fixed for the duration of the match. If a solid object used to mark the boundary is disturbed for any reason, then the boundary shall be considered to be in its original position. The third umpire should have had a closer look at this. One would think the ICC should take a note of this in future matches. Nevertheless, it does not take away the brilliance of Yadav on the boundary. That dismissal of David Miller definitely swung the pendulum into India’s favor. One also has to ponder as well if Heinrich Klaasen should have used his feet when he reached for the wide delivery that he ended up nicking to Rishabh Pant? In the end, the result is final and there is no time machine to change what has happened in the past. 

     There is no doubt that South Africa will bounce back. Their pipeline is strong and history suggests that they produce players of high-class quality to combat pressure situations. While there is space for the argument that South Africa should have won this final when they needed 26 runs from 24 balls with six wickets in hand and that not doing so was a choke, there should be equal room to recognize how wonderfully well Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Arshdeep Singh bowled at the death. That is how Sports goes and such is life. 

     Credit must be given to Rohit Sharma’s astute captaincy. A player of class and strokes the ball with ease and grace, Sharma was the only Indian player in the squad to play in the inaugural T20 World Cup back in 2007. It was India who narrowly clinched victory against Pakistan in that final played in South Africa seventeen years ago. Rohit played in the 2014 T20 World Cup final where India lost to Sri Lanka. After the heart break of losing the 50 overs World Cup final to Australia back in November 2023, this victory will put him to sleep much better at night. India’s former outstanding and the highly respected Rahul Dravid, known as “The Wall”, showed his jubilation when victory was achieved. An excellent coach in his own right and deciding not to renew his coaching tenure with the Indian cricket team, this was a marvelous way to bow out. 

    Indeed, disappointment is a part of sport. Despite South Africa’s strong efforts throughout the tournament, losing the T20 World Cup final to India by seven runs was a tough end to their campaign. Sports often involve close contests and emotional highs and lows, and handling disappointment is an inherent part of the journey for athletes and fans alike. It’s always exciting to look forward to the next ICC tournament. These events bring together the best cricketing nations for thrilling matches and memorable moments. Up next will be the ICC Champions Trophy to be played in Pakistan. This tournament will take place in February and March 2025, with the top eight teams participating. Lots to look forward to in the future. Let’s hope for some more fantastic cricketing action in the upcoming events. 



One thought on “The highs and lows of a T20 World Cup final”

  1. South africa definitely was close to winning after their victory with England but India took the T20 World Cup Final victory home.👍

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