West Indies knocked out of World T20; South Africa into semi-finals with nervy win

SUMMARY: West Indies 135-8 from 20 overs (Roston Chase 52, Kyle Mayers 35, Andre Russell 15, Alzarri Joseph 11*; Tabraiz Shamsi 3-37, Kagiso Rabada 1-11, Marco Jansen 1-17, Keshav Maharaj 1-24, Aiden Markram 1-28) vs South Africa 124-7 from 16.1 overs (Target: 123 from 17) (Tristan Stubbs 29, Heinrich Klaasen 22, Aiden Markram 18, Marco Jansen 21*; Roston Chase 3-12, Andre Russell 2-19, Alzarri Joseph 2-25)

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It probably didn’t need to be that tricky at the death. But that’s just how the Proteas roll at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

South Africa has won yet another tight one and secure progression to the knockout stage of the tournament, entering the final four unbeaten.

They scraped home against a spirited West Indies side that never gave in, sealing victory with five balls to spare and running out of batting options.

Despite the tight finish, the Proteas were on top for most of the must-win clash, which started at the toss- opting to field first at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Markram handed Marco Jansen the new ball and the quick delivered, as Shai Hope was lost for a first ball duck. The captain had just as much success next over, tempting Nicholas Pooran who skied one down the ground- it was well held by Jansen.

South Africa found early success with the ball (Photo: ICC via Getty Images)

Jansen should’ve had a second dismissal, bowling to Roston Chase, but Anrich Nortje put down a tough chance with the ball swirling high in the wind. Chase took full advantage, compiling a Powerplay fightback with Kyle Mayers.

The Windies made it to 47-2 at the six-over mark, capped off with a Mayers maximum on the last ball of the sixth over.

Another Mayers six in the eighth proved costly for the Proteas, as Jansen and Kagiso Rabada collided awkwardly on the rope, both attempting to take the catch. The incident halted play for several minutes, with Jansen appearing to cop the worst of it. The all-rounder was taken off the ground for further assessment, while Rabada remained out there but hadn’t yet been used as a bowler.

Living dangerously, Mayers and Chase carried the West Indies to 62-2 off the first 10 overs, with both going better than a run-a-ball, swinging the momentum back in the hosts’ favour.

Roston Chase (left) and Kyle Mayers added 81 for the third wicket (Photo: ICC via Getty Images)

But the fun ran out at the end of the 12th over, as Mayers was out for 35 off 34 balls. His departure triggered more wickets, as South Africa regained control.

Rovman Powell (1 off 2) and Sherfane Rutherford (0 off 4) went in consecutive overs, before Tabraiz Shamsi made the important breakthrough by removing Chase (52 off 42) to start over 16.

It was all on Andre Russell to pull his side to a competitive total, delivering two huge sixes in the 17th over. But Russell authored his own demise with an ill-advised quick single attempt. He was run out by Nortje, just short of his crease- a fielding effort that undoubtedly made up for Nortje’s earlier drop.

Rabada did eventually attempt to bowl in the 18th over and produced a sharp caught-and-bowled dismissal, removing Akeal Hosein.

Alzarri Joseph scrambled for late runs as the West Indies made it to 135-8 on a reasonable surface, handing the Proteas the advantage at the halfway mark.

Heinrich Klaasen played a crucial knock after the rain interruption (Photo: ICC via Getty Images)

Needing an under seven an over for the win, Quinton de Kock looked in a hurry from the outset. Lightning in the area may have been a factor, making the Proteas chase a fast in case of weather-affected finish.

Andre Russell bowled the second over, which began by finding a faint leg side edge to have Reeza Hendricks caught behind. His over finished with the crucial removal of de Kock who holed out at deep backward square leg.

Suddenly, the rain arrived and play stopped- another three overs are required for the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method to come into effect. After a lengthy break, DLS revised the target to 123 off 17 overs, which also removed one over off the Powerplay.

Par score at the five-over mark was 37 runs and the Proteas arrived there at 41-2, thanks to back-to-back boundaries from Tristan Stubbs in the fifth over.

Alzarri Joseph struck with just his second ball, forcing a mistimed drive from Markram (18 off 15), providing the hosts growing belief.

But an expensive over from Gudakesh Motie, four boundaries for 20 runs, tipped the scales back in South Africa’s favour. Stubbs and Heinrich Klaason looked firmly up to the task at hand.

Roston Chase (right) was outstanding with the ball after scoring a vital fifty (Photo: ICC via Getty Images)

Joseph then removed Klaason (22 off 10), but Stubbs’ presence became more key. Again it looked comfortable for the Proteas, until the right-hander tried to go over long on, out for 29 off 27.

Roston Chase had 2-6 off two overs, giving the West Indies a slim chance at the death. Joseph bowled the third-last over and the requirement became 13 off 12.

With the match again on a knife’s edge, Jansen and Rabada- the two that earlier collided in the field- were the cricketers at the crease looking to become the heroes. A crucial boundary on the seventh-last ball made the requirement five from six, with Obed McCoy then stepping up to the plate to bowl the final over.

And in spite of the immense tension in the middle, Jansen swung with everything he had off the first delivery. The all-rounder smashed one back over McCoy’s head, which cleared the rope and sealed victory for the Proteas, with five balls to spare.

South Africa made tough work of a run chase that, at times, looked comfortable, as the Windies never gave up the fight. And yet there was something emphatic about the shot that ended it, ensuring South Africa goes through to the semi-final stage still unbeaten- seven from seven and into the final four. (ICC)

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