T20 World Cup 2024 Semifinal: South Africa’s Historic Win Secures First Ever ICC Men’s World Cup Final Spot

South Africa's Historic Win

South Africa has achieved a significant milestone by reaching the final of an ICC men’s event for the first time. This success came after they defeated Afghanistan in the semifinal of the 2024 T20 World Cup held in Trinidad. South Africa’s win marked their first victory in a men’s World Cup (T20 or ODI) semifinal in eight attempts. They now await the outcome of the match between India and England to see who they will face in the final.

South Africa’s Dominant Performance

On a challenging pitch, South Africa’s fast bowlers took charge, bowling out Afghanistan for just 56 runs in 11.5 overs, their lowest total in T20 cricket history. The pace trio of Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje claimed seven wickets collectively, with Jansen leading the pack with 3-16. Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi also contributed significantly, taking three lower-order wickets to wrap up Afghanistan’s innings quickly. Chasing this modest total, South Africa won the match convincingly by nine wickets with 67 balls remaining.

Key Moments of the Semifinal

PowerPlay Dominance: Afghanistan struggled from the start. Jansen dismissed the tournament’s top scorer, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, for a duck in the first over. He then removed Gulbadin Naib, reducing Afghanistan to 28/5 by the end of the PowerPlay. Rabada followed up with a double-wicket maiden, dismissing Ibrahim Zadran and Mohammad Nabi, further denting Afghanistan’s chances.

Middle Overs Collapse: Nortje continued the demolition by getting Azmatullah Omarzai caught. Rashid Khan provided some resistance with a couple of boundaries but fell to a quick delivery from Nortje. Shamsi finished the job by trapping three lower-order batsman LBW, increasing his tournament tally to 11 wickets.

South Africa’s Chase

PowerPlay Steadiness: In their chase, South Africa faced some early challenges from the pitch. Quinton de Kock was dismissed by Fazalhaq Farooqi, but Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram steadied the innings. Despite some unpredictable bounce, they took South Africa past the halfway mark by scoring 34/1 in the PowerPlay.

Middle Overs Finish: With only a small target left, Hendricks and Markram efficiently guided South Africa to victory in just 17 balls after the PowerPlay. Hendricks sealed the win with a six and a four off Azmatullah Omarzai, leading South Africa to their first World Cup final.

Match Summary

  • Afghanistan: 56 in 11.5 overs (Tabraiz Shamsi 3-6, Marco Jansen 3-16, Anrich Nortje 2-7, Kagiso Rabada 2-14)
  • South Africa: 60/1 in 8.5 overs (Reeza Hendricks 29*, Aiden Markram 23*; Fazalhaq Farooqi 1-11)
  • Result: South Africa won by 9 wickets

South Africa will now prepare for their historic final in Barbados. This achievement marks a significant turnaround for the Proteas, free from the disappointments of past tournaments. Meanwhile, Afghanistan, despite the loss, can be proud of their inspiring journey in this World Cup.

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