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South Africa book place in T20 World Cup final

TAROUBA, Trinidad and Tobago: A belligerent bowling performance and calm from the top-order secured South Africa’s ticket for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 final with a nine-wicket win against Afghanistan in the first semi-final on Thursday.

Bowling Afghanistan out for just 56, South Africa hit their straps early by claiming eight wickets inside the first 10 overs of the innings at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

Player of the Match Marco Jansen (3-16 from three overs), Kagiso Rabada (2-14 from three) and Anrich Nortje (2-7 off three) barely put a foot wrong, before Tabraiz Shamsi cleaned up the tail with figures of 3-16 in just 11 balls, the match report on said.

It is the first time that a team has bowled out their opposition for under 100 in a Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final.

Chasing just 57, calm from the South Africa’s top order forced Afghanistan’s hand in deploying Rashid Khan inside the Powerplay, moving to 34-1 after six overs.

Despite the early wicket of Quinton de Kock (5), claimed by Fazalhaq Farooqi (1-11), Reeza Hendricks (29 not out) and Aiden Markram (23 not out) extinguished any Afghan threat to chase down the target inside nine overs.

After the win, Markram paid tribute to the other 14 members of the squad and the fans back home. “It feels good (to make it to the final). It’s a massive squad effort. Really chuffed for us to have one more crack at lifting that trophy.

“There are a lot of people waking up (in South Africa) with a little bit more grey hair, but this win will be more comforting for them. We’ve never been there (to the final) before, but there’s a lot of belief. It takes a full squad to put together a really good game of cricket.”

Brief scores: At Brian Lara Cricket Academy: Afghanistan 56 all out in 11.5 overs (Azmatullah Omarzai 10; Tabraiz Shamsi 3-6, Marco Jansen 3-16, Anrich Nortje 2-7, Kagiso Rabada 2-14). South Africa 60-1 off 8.5 overs (Reeza Hendricks 29 not out, Aiden Markram 23 not out; Fazalhaq Farooqi 1-11).

Result: South Africa won by nine wickets.

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