India won the T20 World Cup title in dramatic and emotional fashion with Virat Kohli starring in a thrilling seven-run victory over South Africa at the Kensington Oval on Saturday.

Kohli, who later announced his retirement from T20 internationals, steadied the India innings with his fine 76 taking them to a strong 176-7.

When Heinrich Klaasen blasted a superb 52 from 27 balls, it looked as though South Africa, appearing in their first final, were closing in on victory but they were halted by some outstanding Indian bowling and catching at the end.

South Africa ended on 169-8 with Hardik Pandya taking 3-20 for India, another reminder of his outstanding ability, particularly in death bowling.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup: As champions India end a long drought, tears of joy have finally flowed

The win is the second T20 World Cup title for India following their triumph in the first edition in 2007 and it also ends their 11-year wait for a major title going back to the 2013 Champions Trophy.

But while the team and their huge travelling army of fans celebrated in Barbados, the win also marked the end of an era with skipper Rohit Sharma also calling it a day in the shortest format of the international game and coach Rahul Dravid having already announced his departure.

It was a sweet farewell for veteran Kohli who had struggled in the tournament, coming into the final with an average of just 10.7, but he delivered his best innings at the perfect moment with his balanced batting ensuring India won the title after an unbeaten tournament.

It was a bitter end for South Africa who had reached their first World Cup final after ending a streak of seven defeats in semi-finals in both World Cup formats.

(With text inputs from AFP)

Here’s a look at how the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final unfolded, in photos:

India won the T20 World Cup in Barbados, 17 years after winning the inaugural edition (Photo courtesy: Ash ALLEN / AFP)
The victory ended India’s 13-year title drought which had seen the team lose in five finals across events (Photo courtesy: Chandan KHANNA / AFP)
Virat Kohli (L) and captain Rohit Sharma (R) both announced their retirements from T20 Internationals (Photo courtesy: Chandan KHANNA / AFP)
Rahul Dravid ended his tenure as India coach by winning his first ICC World Cup title (Photo courtesy: Ash ALLEN / Reuters)
South Africa’s unbeaten run at the tournament came to a heartbreaking end in the final as their wait for a World Cup title continues (Photo courtesy: Ash ALLEN / Reuters)
Having opted to bat first, India were rocked in the second over as Keshav Maharaj dismissed Sharma and Rishabh Pant (Photo courtesy: Ash ALLEN / Reuters)
India were reduced to 34/3 in five overs as Kagiso Rabada dismissed the No 1 ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav (Photo courtesy: Randy BROOKS / AFP)
Kohli, who had endured a poor final until the final, anchored the Indian innings with a 59-ball 76 (Photo courtesy: Chandan KHANNA / AFP)
Promoted up the batting order, Axar Patel took on the South African bowlers in a vital 31-ball 47-run knock as India posted a competitive target of 177 (Photo courtesy: Chandan KHANNA / AFP)
Despite losing opener Reeza Hendricks and captain Aidan Markram early, the Proteas’ chase was shepherded by Tristan Stubbs (L) and Quinton de Kock (R) (Photo courtesy: Chandan KHANNA / AFP)
Heinrich Klaasen took South Africa to the brink of victory with a quick-fire 52 off 27 balls (Photo courtesy: Ash ALLEN / Reuters)
With South Africa needing just 26 runs in 24 balls, Hardik Pandya handed India a lifeline by getting rid of Klaasen (Photo courtesy: Chandan KHANNA / AFP)
Player of the tournament Jasprit Bumrah came up clutch at the death once again giving just six runs in two overs while also taking the wicket of Marco Jansen (Photo courtesy: Chandan KHANNA / AFP)
South Africa needed 16 off the last over with David Miller on strike. Suryakumar Yadav took the catch of the tournament to dismiss Miller and effectively winning India’s second ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title (Photo courtesy: Chandan KHANNA / AFP)