GUWAHATI: Just as Virat Kohl's 'selfless knock' won the hearts of cricket lovers here on Sunday night, the boisterous crowd that cheered the game drew praise from the ace player too.
Kohli missed a half-century by a whisker as he remained unbeaten at 49 with India setting a target of 238 for South Africa.
India went on to win the match by 16 runs and grab the three-match T20 series by winning the first two games.
The capacity crowd of nearly 39,000 at the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) Stadium here had the loudest cheers reserved for the former Team India captain.
Praising the massive support, Kohli expressed his gratitude to the crowd on Twitter.
''Great game. Terrific atmosphere. Thank you Guwahati,'' the star player wrote, sharing pictures of the game, in a post-midnight Tweet.
Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was among the crowd for the match, shared the Tweet and wrote: ''Thank you so much @imVkohli .'' Kohli's fans, who ignored humid conditions and missed Durga Puja festivities on Sunday to watch their favourite cricketer in action, also responded with the same love on the micro-blogging site.
Cricket follower and journalist Bidisha Singha wrote: ''Thank u Champ! What a selfless knock...'' Virat Kohli gave Surya Kumar Yadav (61 off 22 balls) perfect support and became the first Indian to get to 11,000 T20 runs during his 49 not out.
He also gave finisher Dinesh Karthik the maximum strike. Karthik slammed 17 not out from seven balls.
Another Kohli fan Sasanka Chakraborty tweeted: ''Thanks for the wave today @imVkohli.'' He shared a clip of Kohli waving to the stands after practice just before the start of play.
Kohli had also posed for photographs with fans during net practice at the stadium on match eve, drawing praise from the game lovers.