Cricket-Indian joy, US make mark at biggest T20 World Cup

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Reuters) -India won the Twenty20 World Cup title on Saturday after prevailing by seven runs in a heart-stopping final against South Africa to end their 11-year wait for a global title.

The clash between the tournament's two unbeaten sides lived up to expectations and provided intense drama that culminated with India claiming their second T20 World Cup 17 years after their first.

It was a fitting finale to the biggest T20 World Cup featuring a record 20 teams, which created quite a buzz in United States, the joint tournament hosts with West Indies.

The U.S impressed on the field too, stunning former champions Pakistan and making the Super Eight stage ahead of test playing nations such as New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan also gave a good account of themselves until South Africa hammered them in the semi-finals.

It was the first time South Africa made the final of a World Cup in any format, but Aiden Markram's side fell agonisingly short of the title.

No batter scored a century in the bowler-dominated tournament, which, for many, was a welcome break from the usual relentless slogging the format encourages.

India's Jasprit Bumrah, adjudged player of the tournament, particularly stood out and proved again why he is the best all-format bowler in the world.

It was India's first global triumph since they won the 2013 Champions Trophy and the first time a team won the title while going unbeaten throughout the tournament.

In a fluctuating final, India posted 176-7 on the back of Virat Kohli's measured 76 but South Africa recovered from a poor start thanks to Heinrich Klaasen's 52 off 27 balls to look the more likely winners.

Bumrah returned to the attack, however, to strangle the chase and, with South Africa needing 16 off the last over, Suryakumar Yadav pulled off a spectacular boundary catch to dismiss David Miller which effectively settled the match.

Relief was written large on the faces of most of the Indian players who were in tears and the match proved a fitting finale for three of the team's stalwarts.

Kohli and captain Rohit Sharma announced their retirements from T20 internationals after the match and India coach Rahul Dravid shook the trophy and screamed in a rare show of emotion at the end of his spell in charge of the national side.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Ed Osmond)