T20 WC: All-round South Africa overcome semifinal curse, end Afghanistan's dream run with 9 wicket win to reach finals

T20 WC: All-round South Africa overcome semifinal curse, end Afghanistan's dream run with 9 wicket win to reach finals
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Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago: South Africa's all-round performance took them to victory against Afghanistan inside 9 overs and their first-ever finals of the Cricket World Cup.

The Proteas chased down the target of 57 in just 8.5 overs with nine wickets in hand in the first semifinal of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup 2024

Now, the Aiden Markram-led side will lock horns against the winner of the second semifinal, either India or England in the final on Saturday which will take place at Kensington Oval in in Bridgetown, Barbados.

While chasing a mere total of 57 runs, the Proteas didn't have the start that they wanted as wicketkeeper-batter Quinton De Kock was sent back to the pavilion in the second over when the team score was 5.

Following De Kock's dismissal, South Africa skipper Aiden Markram came out to bat iwith opener Reeza Hendricks.

After the end of the powerplay (6 overs), the Proteas were 34/1 with Markram (12) and Hendricks (15) unbeaten on the crease.

The South African side completed fifty in 8.4 overs and went on to win the game in 8.5 overs with both batters unbeaten on the crease.

Hendricks slammed 29 runs off 25 balls with the help of three fours and a six while Markram hit 23 runs from 21 balls, which was laced with four boundaries.

For Afghanistan, one wicket was grabbed by left-arm seamer Fazalhaq Farooqi in his spell of two overs where he conceded 11 runs.

Earlier, electing to bat first, Afghanistan was off to a poor start as pacer Marco Jansen got the big wicket of the tournament's leading run-scorer, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, with a fine catch from Reeza Hendricks at slips. Gurbaz was gone for a three-ball duck, and Afghanistan was 4/1 in one over.

The Proteas continued their good bowling, though Gulbadin Naib tried to take down the pacer with two classy boundaries. His off stump was knocked over by a Jansen delivery, removing him for nine in eight balls. Afghanistan was 16/2 in 2.3 overs.

Kagiso Rabada also joined the fun and made the most of the bat and pad gap of Afghan batters to castle Ibrahim Zadran (2) and experienced all-rounder Mohammed Nabi (0). Afghanistan was falling like a pack of cards, at 20/4 in 3.4 overs.

Nangeyalia Kharote was Jansen's third victim, caught behind by wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock for just two runs in seven balls. Afghanistan was 23/5 in five overs and Proteas were on fire.

At the end of six overs, Afghanistan was 28/5, with Karim Janat (0*) and Azmatullah Omarzai(10*) unbeaten.

Proteas pacers just could not be stopped, as Omarzai handed an easy catch to Tristan Stubbs at sweeper cover on a delivery by Anrich Nortje. Afghans were 29/6 in 6.3 overs.

Skipper Rashid Khan and Karim gave Afghans a bit of relief from the onslaught by South African pacers, with Rashid slamming Rabada for two fours and Karim taking down some spin as well.

Afghanistan reached the 50-run mark in 9.2 overs.

The brief 21-run partnership ended with Karim being trapped leg-before-wicket by Shamsi for just eight runs in 13 balls. Afghanistan was 50/7 in 9.3 overs.

Shamsi also removed Noor Ahmed for a duck in the same over. Afghanistan was 50/8 in 9.5 overs.

Rashid was cleaned up by Nortje for eight runs. Afghanistan was 50/9 in 10.2 overs.

Shamsi took the final wicket, removing Naveen ul Haq for just two runs. Afghanistan was skittled out for 56 in 11.5 overs.

Jansen (3/16) and Shamsi (3/6) were the top bowlers for SA. Rabada (2/14) and Nortje (2/7) also bowled well for SA.

Brief Score: South Africa 60/1 in 8.5 overs (Reeza Hendricks 29*, Aiden Markram 23*, Fazalhaq Farooqi 1/11) vs Afghanistan 56 (Azmatullah Omarzai 10, Gulbadin Naib 9, Marco Jansen 3/16).