South Africa storm into first World Cup final after Afghanistan’s batting meltdown

SUMMARY: Afghanistan 56 all out from 11.5 overs (Azmatullah Omarzai 10; Tabraiz Shamsi 3-6, Marco Jansen 3-16, Anrich Nortje 2-7, Kagiso Rabada 2-14) vs South Africa 60-1 from 8.5 overs (Reeza Hendricks 29*, Aiden Markram 23*; Fazalhaq Farooqi 1-22)

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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, defeating Afghanistan in the first semi-final in Trinidad.

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

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.

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

Afghanistan lost wickets in a heap in the Powerplay (Photo: ICC via Getty Images)

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*)* and Aiden Markram (23*) extinguished any Afghan threat to chase down the target inside nine

Earlier, Jansen claimed Rahmanullah Gurbaz with an outside edge to Reeza Hendricks with the last ball of the first over to begin proceedings, before beating the defences of Gulbadin Naib (9) in his second.

At the other end, Rabada made a mess of both Ibrahim Zadran and Mohammad Nabi’s stumps in the space of four balls, completing a double-wicket maiden.

Rashid Khan was understandably disappointed (Photo: ICC via Getty Images)

Coming back for a third over, Jansen strangled Kharote, gloving a pull shot to Quinton de Kock down the leg-side, before Nortje joined in with the wicket of Azmatullah Omarzai (10).

Anrich Nortje joined in by claiming Azmatullah Omarzai (10 off 12) in an attempted counter-attack, before Tabraiz Shamsi took the wickets of Karim Janat (8), Noor Ahmad (0) and Naveen-ul-haq lbw to complete the job.

Aiden Markram plays a shot during the run-chase (Photo: ICC via Getty Images)

De Kock was well beaten by Fazalhaq who found early movement, though Hendricks and Markram saw off Afghanistan’s late punches, trying a total of five bowlers in the 8.5 overs.

South Africa await the winner of the India versus England semi-final on Thursday morning, and will play the winner in Barbados on June 29. (ICC)

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