South Africa Secures Historic Spot in Men’s T20 World Cup Final with Dominant Win Over Afghanistan

South Africa’s lethal bowling attack destroyed Afghanistan for 56/10, secured a spot in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 final for the ultimate glory.

Skipper Aiden Markram led his side to the first ever final in any World Cup events with a commanding victory over Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s dream run at the world cup came to end, though their skipper Rashid Khan praised his team’s exceptional performances throughout the tournament.

South Africa Secures Historic Spot in Men’s T20 World Cup Final with Dominant Win Over Afghanistan
Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram led South Africa home with a flawless 55-point stand. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Afghanistan 56 (Omarzai 10, Shamsi 3-6, Jansen 3-16) lost to South Africa 60 for 1 (Hendricks 29*, Farooqi 1-11) by nine wickets.

Afghanistan collapsed to 56, their lowest total in Twenty20 Internationals, as Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen ripped through the top order.

Afghanistan’s top order was decimated by South Africa’s quicks, who claimed five wickets in the first five overs, sending the opposition reeling and ultimately finishing at 56 all out in the first T20 World Cup 2024 semi-final.

Then, on an extremely difficult Tarouba pitch, Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks skillfully handled the little chase, despite losing Quinton de Kock early.

This was a resounding and clinical victory for a side notorious for nervous cricket throughout the knockout stages. Nearly nothing in South Africa was left to chance. They fielded brilliantly, bowled superbly, and persevered through some challenging early overs while seizing loose balls.

As a reward, they advanced to the men’s World Cup final for the first time ever and extended their tournament winning streak to eight games. Their command of the game from beginning to end was demonstrated by their nine-wicket victory margin with 67 balls left to spare.

The Tarouba surface provided lots of bounce early on in addition to lateral mobility. With Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen playing at such high levels, South Africa had a fantastic attack to take advantage of the circumstances.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the batter of the tournament for Afghanistan, was dismissed by Jansen at the end of the opening over as he edged a ball that was angled over him to Hendricks at slip. With a delivery that darted back into him, Jansen bowled Gulbadin Naib over the gate in his subsequent over.

Afghanistan suffered a severe setback after Rabada’s opening over. Twice he jagged two balls back, hitting timber both times. The game-ending ball was the one that struck the upper part of Ibrahim Zadran’s middle stump. At that moment, Ibrahim represented Afghanistan’s greatest chance of achieving a respectable total. With an even more spectacular delivery, he removed Mohammad Nabi’s off stump with the fourth ball. It was a maiden double-wicket over.

Afghanistan was really struggling after losing their top five players and their middle order not producing anything during the event. From then, Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi ended the innings. The only Afghan batsman to reach double digits, Azmatullah Omarzai, was caught at deep point by Nortje, who also removed Rashid Khan’s off stump.

As the balls raced onto the right-handers, Shamsi bowled a leg-stump line and continued to get them out of position. They went over all three rulings, but the choices made by the on-field umpires stood, and their calls regarding the impact were sufficient.

Also Read: T20 World Cup Winners List from 2007 to 2023

Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq had 29 wickets apiece going into this game. They had little hope of protecting a score so low unless they ran through the top order together.

In his opening over, Farooqi took two wickets to tie the tournament record, first supplying de Kock with some powerful outswingers before jagging one back in and ruining his stumps.

Furthermore, Rashid wasn’t certain enough about the decision to review it, and Naveen ought to have got Markram in the next over, but the majority of Afghanistan’s players were unaware of the thin edge to the wicketkeeper.

Even yet, there were still challenging times as the pitch kept playing up and frequently remaining low. But South Africa‘s batsmen would strike first when Afghanistan delivered shoddy deliveries. Thirteen runs, or more than a fifth of the goal, were scored in the fifth over alone. Despite the fact that this was South Africa’s historic victory, they celebrated with moderation after they reached home in the ninth over.

Aiden Markram on the Historic Win

The captain of South Africa stated that they were fortunate not to win the toss since they would have had to bat in the semifinal.

Aiden Markram, the captain of South Africa, praised his bowlers for a “special” performance after they bowled Afghanistan out for just 56, crushing them by nine wickets and advancing to their first-ever men’s World Cup final.

South Africa Secures Historic Spot in Men’s T20 World Cup Final with Dominant Win Over Afghanistan
Afghanistan exits the T20 World Cup semi-final following a crushing defeat. Photo Credit: Getty Images

The speed three of South Africa—Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje—limited Afghanistan to 28 for 6 in 6.3 overs after the Afghans elected to bat in Tarouba. After that, Tabraiz Shamsi contributed three wickets to help Afghanistan get bowled out for their lowest T20I score.

“I suppose it’s fortunate that I lost the toss. At the award ceremony, Markram stated, “We also would have batted, so we got a bit of luck with regard to that. “However, the bowlers still needed to place their throws correctly.

“They made things really difficult for the Afghanistan batsmen by getting enough balls in the correct places. Thus, they deserve praise.

“They have been amazing for us throughout the entire competition. They’ve kept things fairly straightforward, sort of evaluated the situation, and modified their plans as necessary. And thus far, they’ve been amazing for us.”

South Africa lost Quinton de Kock in the second over of their chase, but it was their only mishap. Reeza Hendricks and Markram destroyed the target in 8.5 overs to guarantee South Africa’s facile victory in Tarouba following a string of hard-fought victories en route to the semi-final.

On the other hand, there were queries over the pitch, which was lively and active from the beginning. This game, the fifth at Brian Lara Stadium in this World Cup, was played on a brand-new surface that included noticeable cracks and areas of grass, but it also bounced unevenly as the match progressed.

Regarding the pitch, Markram stated, “Yeah, it’s pretty tough.” “A batter, after all, won’t tell you that, if you get it up and down, it doesn’t matter in your mind.

“But we were aware that this was going to require cooperation, so we addressed it a little early on. We’re fortunate to have had some luck again and been able to establish a little collaboration. It will get a little bit easier after that.”

“So, chuffed to have got it over the line,” Markram remarked, admitting that their victories in the earlier rounds of the competition had been nerve-wracking.

“We’ve played a number of extremely close games. Furthermore, I am aware that many individuals are still sleeping at home in the wee hours of the morning, and we are giving them a lot of grey hairs. Thus, let’s hope that this evening provided them with a little more solace.”

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