Proteas complete Indian misery
South Africa heaped more pressure on MS Dhoni as the Proteas cruised to a 12 run victory over India to complete a miserable Super Eights for the dethroned champions.
A pathetic India could not salvage their lost pride and sunk to a 12-run defeat against South Africa to end their miserable World Twenty20 campaign on a losing note here on Tuesday.
Supposedly playing for pride, India's star-studded batting order could not chase down the 153 runs that would have spared them the embarrassment of finishing the Super Eight campaign without a single win to show.
In the end, 118 was all they could manage losing eight wickets.
This was after India's disciplined bowlers -- eight of them were pressed into action -- had restricted South Africa to 130 for five on a sluggish track and the Proteas owed nearly half of their total to AB de Villiers (63) alone.
Gautam Gambhir (21) and Rohit Sharma (29) gave India a strong start but it was Yuvraj Singh's run-a-ball 25 that actually rekindled India's hopes of a win in their swansong tie before the defending champions faltered.
Going by their start, a defeat never looked like a possibility for India. With Gambhir wasting precious little time in imposing himself and his aggression rubbing off on Rohit, India were off to a flying start till the mid-innings collapsed happened.
Gambhir cut Dale Steyn disdainfully and then hit Wayne Parnell for two fours on the trot and Rohit responded by creaming two successive fours off Morne Morkel as India cruised on.
Graeme Smith then had Johan Botha and JP Duminy bowling in tandem and India suddenly slumped from the comfort of 48 for no loss to the predicament of 69 for five.
Gambhir holed out in the deep trying to hit Botha and the spinner returned to snare off-colour Suresh Raina (3) in his next over.
Rohit then sliced a dolly at backward point and as if it was not enough, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) ran himself out, going for a non-existent single and that too off a wide delivery.
The crisis was not over yet. Yusuf Pathan never looked like comfortable against Roelof van der Merwe and returned scoreless following his soft dismissal.
Yuvraj tried his best but fell in the 19th over, which put paid to India's hopes for a win.
India earlier used as many as eight bowlers to restrict South Africa to a modest total.
AB de Villiers top-scored for the Proteas with a 51-ball 63 with the help of seven fours.
South Africa captain Graeme Smith preferred to set India a target after he won the toss on a sluggish track but it was far from a perfect start for the Proteas who lost Herschelle Gibbs (5) in the second over.
Hit through cover for a searing boundary, RP Singh had his revenge when Gibbs dragged the next one onto his stumps to make an early exit.
Not that Smith (26) or de Villiers panicked.
On the contrary, de Villiers cut with ferocity and drove with elan and RP Singh bore the brunt of his wrath.
Smith, on his part, looked quite at home against Zaheer, hitting the left-arm seamer for two boundaries. What further helped his cause was Rohit Sharma's direct throw that narrowly missed the stumps with Smith nowhere near the scene.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni pressed Ishant Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja and even Rohit Sharma into service but it was Harbhajan who earned the breakthrough.
Smith first charged out and then lunged to connect and Jadeja took the skier at mid-wicket to end the Protea skipper's run-a-ball stay in the middle.
India did manage to put a brake on the run rate but both de Villiers and JP Duminy (10) ran hard between wickets to keep the scoreboard ticking.
de Villiers smote Yuvraj for two successive fours to bring up his fifty but Duminy fell to Suresh Raina at the other end, stranded way down the track when Dhoni knocked off the bails.
de Villiers eventually fell in the 18th overs when Jadeja took a skier off his own bowling and despite desperate efforts, South Africa fell well shy of the 150-mark.