Home IPL 2024 Reigning South Africa beat Afghanistan to reach first-ever Men’s World Cup final.

Reigning South Africa beat Afghanistan to reach first-ever Men’s World Cup final.

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South Africa’s cricket transformation has catapulted them into the final of an ICC men’s event for the first time since 1998 after halting Afghanistan’s impressive run in the 2024 T20 World Cup semifinal in Trinidad. The Proteas, shedding past disappointments, clinched their maiden men’s World Cup semifinal victory on their eighth attempt, setting up a showdown with the India vs England clash winner in Guyana, reports Live Cricket Score.

On a lively pitch, South Africa’s pacers dominated, bundling out Afghanistan for a mere 56 runs in just 11.5 overs – Afghanistan’s lowest T20 total ever. Marco Jansen (3-16), Kagiso Rabada (2-14), and Anrich Nortje (2-7) wreaked havoc with the ball, while Tabraiz Shamsi added three lower-order wickets to his impressive tournament tally. Despite the challenging conditions, South Africa’s chase was relatively straightforward, as they cruised to a nine-wicket victory with 67 balls to spare.

In hindsight, the pivotal moment of the semifinal came at the toss. Both captains expressed a desire to bat first, but Rashid Khan won the toss and opted to bat. Unfortunately for Afghanistan, the pitch offered swing, seam movement, and uneven bounce, and South Africa’s relentless pace attack capitalized fully.

Afghanistan’s tournament strategy had relied heavily on solid starts from their openers, followed by scoreboard pressure from their bowling. However, their plans were derailed early when Marco Jansen dismissed Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the first over without scoring. From there, South Africa’s pace battery continued dismantling Afghanistan’s top order, reducing them to 28/5 within the PowerPlay. Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi then wrapped up the lower order swiftly, leaving Afghanistan reeling at 28/9.

In response, South Africa weathered the early storm, reaching 34/1 in the PowerPlay before losing Quinton de Kock. Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks guided their team steadily towards the target, with Markram playing a pivotal role despite Afghanistan’s bowlers finding some movement off the pitch. Hendricks sealed South Africa’s emphatic victory with a six and a boundary off Azmatullah Omarzai.

With this win, South Africa advances to its first-ever men’s World Cup final, marking a historic achievement. Meanwhile, despite its semifinal loss, Afghanistan can reflect on a remarkable campaign that showcased its rising prowess in international cricket.

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