SA Demolish Afghanistan to Reach First-Ever T20 World Cup Final

SA Demolish Afghanistan to Reach First-Ever T20 World Cup Final

In a historic moment for South African cricket, the team secured its spot in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final for the first time by crushing Afghanistan by nine wickets in Trinidad.

The match saw a stellar bowling performance from South Africa, effectively dismantling Afghanistan and limiting them to a mere 56 runs. This commanding display in the semi-final was set in motion by South Africa’s early aggression, claiming eight wickets within the first 10 overs.

Marco Jansen, who was named Player of the Match, delivered an outstanding performance, taking 3 wickets for just 16 runs in his three overs. He was ably supported by Kagiso Rabada, who took 2 wickets for 14 runs, and Anrich Nortje, who picked up 2 wickets for a mere 7 runs.

Tabraiz Shamsi then cleaned up the tail, also securing 3 wickets for 16 runs in just 11 balls. This remarkable effort marked the first instance of a team being bowled out for under 100 in a Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final.

In their chase, South Africa needed only 57 runs to win. The top order remained composed, forcing Afghanistan to bring in Rashid Khan during the Powerplay.

Despite losing Quinton de Kock early for 5 runs to Fazalhaq Farooqi, who bowled an impressive 1/11, Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram ensured there were no further setbacks. Hendricks remained unbeaten on 29*, while Markram contributed 23 runs, guiding South Africa to victory in just under nine overs.

The match began with Jansen setting the tone by dismissing Rahmanullah Gurbaz on the last ball of the first over. He continued his dominance by removing Gulbadin Naib for 9 runs.

At the other end, Rabada wrecked havoc on Afghanistan’s middle order, taking out Ibrahim Zadran and Mohammad Nabi in quick succession. Jansen added another wicket to his tally by dismissing Nangeyalia Kharote, followed by Nortje who took out Azmatullah Omarzai.

Shamsi then took center stage, removing Karim Janat, Noor Ahmad, and Naveen-ul-Haq in rapid succession, wrapping up the Afghan innings efficiently.

Despite a strong start from Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi, who managed to dismiss De Kock early, South Africa’s batsmen, particularly Hendricks and Markram, navigated the remaining overs with ease. Afghanistan tried multiple bowling options, but the South African pair remained unperturbed, completing the chase in 8.5 overs.

South Africa now looks forward to the final in Barbados on June 29, where they will face the winner of the India vs. England semi-final. This victory not only marks a significant milestone for South African cricket but also sets the stage for an exciting final showdown.