A hard-fought triumph was lost amidst the heavy hearts of the Indian cricketers and their ardent fans. A victory by the narrowest of margins — one run — was secured, but the larger goal was missed as India defeated South Africa, yet crashed out of the ICC World Twenty20.

Prior to the Super Eights Group II match at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Tuesday, India’s net run-rate (-0.452) was far below leader Australia (+0.464) and second-placed Pakistan (+0.273).

To surpass that gap, especially with Pakistan, India had to defeat South Africa by a margin of 31 runs or more after scoring 152 for six. The Proteas replied with 151 in 19.5 overs and accompanied M.S. Dhoni’s men towards the exit gate.

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