T20 World Cup: South Africa defeats Afghanistan by 9 wickets to get to the final

At Brian Lara Stadium on Thursday, South Africa defeated Afghanistan by a score of nine wickets to advance to the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 final.

Afghanistan was reduced to 56 for 10 in 11.5 overs after struggling to score runs on the difficult wicket while batting first earlier. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje claimed two wickets apiece, while Marco Jansen and Tabraiz Shamsi both claimed three wickets.

As the Proteas men chased down the total in 8.5 overs for the loss of one wicket to advance to their first-ever ICC final, they were led by Reeza Hendricks, who played an innings of 29 off 25 deliveries, and captain Aiden Markram, who scored 23 runs.

Afghanistan’s remarkable path to the semifinals cannot be understated. Australia, the reigning world champions, and New Zealand, two of the top-ranked teams, were defeated by this once-underdog team.

In a thrilling Super 8 encounter on Tuesday, the Asian team overcame Bangladesh to advance to their first-ever Men’s T20 World Cup semifinal. However, a loss to South Africa in the semifinals brought an end to Afghanistan’s spectacular run.

Afghanistan chose to bat first and was knocked out for 56 in 11.5 overs. In response, South Africa secured their first-ever berth in an ICC Men’s World Cup final by chasing down the goal in 9 overs.

Rashid commented, “It was tough, tough for us as a team,” following the game. Although the circumstances prevented us from achieving our goals, we could have performed better. That’s the nature of Twenty20 cricket; you have to be prepared for anything. They bowled pretty well, in my opinion. I believe that the seamers’ excellent bowling contributed to our good results in this competition; you need strong starts.”

The Afghan captain commended the efforts of Mohammad Nabi and Fazalhaq Farooqi, although he acknowledged that the team missed Mujeeb Ur Rahman a lot. We were unfortunate to lose Mujeeb to injury, but Nabi and our seamers did a fantastic job bowling with the new ball. As spinners, that made our jobs easier. This tournament has been enjoyable for us.”

“We don’t mind going to the semifinals and falling to a superior team like Africa. For us, this is just the beginning; we are capable of defeating any opposition. We just must maintain our procedures. For us, this has been a fantastic learning opportunity. The belief is what we learn from the competition,” Rashid remarked.

“We are aware of our abilities; all we need to do is learn how to handle challenging and stressful circumstances. To extend the innings, some work needs to be done, particularly in the middle order. As I mentioned, our squad is constantly growing and we have had success thus far, but we intend to return and work even more, particularly in the batting department,” he stated.

Brief scores:

Afghanistan 56 all out in 11.5 overs (Azmatullah Omarzai 10, Rashid Khan 8; Tabraiz Shamsi 3-6, Marci Jansen 3-16) lost to South Africa 60 for 1 in 8.5 overs (Reeza Hendricks 29 not out, Aiden Markram 23 not out; Fazalhaq Farooqi 1-11) by nine wickets.

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