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From fairytale to nightmare: South Africa advances to maiden T20 World Cup final with dominant victory over Afghanistan

On Thursday, June 27, in Trinidad, South Africa defeated Afghanistan by 9 wickets to go to their first-ever ICC World Cup final. Afghanistan was bowled out for a mere 56 runs by the Proteas bowlers, who caused chaos in the process.

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- June 27th 2024 09:25 AM
From fairytale to nightmare: South Africa advances to maiden T20 World Cup final with dominant victory over Afghanistan

From fairytale to nightmare: South Africa advances to maiden T20 World Cup final with dominant victory over Afghanistan

PTC News Desk: Afghanistan's incredible journey in the T20 World Cup 2024 has come to an anticlimax on June 27, Thursday, as South Africa bowlers went through their batting order to defeat the Proteas by nine wickets and send them to their first-ever ICC final. In just 12 overs, Afghanistan was bowled out for just 56 runs by Marco Jansen, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje. The Trinidad surface was a nightmare for the batsmen.

The Proteas hitters rapidly chased down the mark as they ultimately halted their dismal run in the ICC knockouts to advance to the final on June 29, Saturday, in Barbados. Rashid Khan won the toss and chose to bat first in Trinidad, setting the tone for the match from the very first over.

In the opening over, Jansen took the ball and removed Rahmanullah Gurbaz for a duck. Afghanistan appeared to have some reprieve just during Keshav Maharaj's second over, as the demolition work continued from the third over.

Gulbadin Naib would be destroyed by Jansen, and Kagiso Rabada would follow suit, dismissing Ibrahim Zadran and Mohammad Nabi in the following over to send Afghanistan reeling. Kharote was unable to provide any opposition, and Omarzai's attempt to counterattack was unsuccessful, thus the march of wickets continued.

Afghanistan reached 50 runs thanks to a quick 22-run partnership between Rashid Khan and Karim Janat, but Shamsi soon entered the fray. The spinner kept South Africa's flawless game going by dismissing Janat and Noor. Before Shamsi completed the picture, Nortje, who had a run-in with Rashid, got the last laugh by walking the Afghan skipper's off-stump. The lowest total scored by a team in a T20 World Cup semifinal is 56 for Afghanistan.

The pitch was still helping the pacers, so the South African innings wasn't getting off to the ideal start. To offer Afghanistan hope, Fazalhaq Farooqi cleared Quinton de Kock early on. Afghanistan got away with a minor nick right immediately, giving Aiden Markram an early lifeline. They would have to pay Markram because the catch wasn't evaluated. The Proteas captain and Reeza Hendricks would lead the team through the difficult phase and guarantee that the target was reached in nine overs.

South Africa play the perfect game at the right time

Though they had won every game they had played up to the semi-finals, South Africa had not impressed many observers during the competition. They came within a hair's breadth of victory in the end, thanks to victories over Nepal and the Netherlands.

Although Aiden Markram was pleased with the victories, he insisted that they still hadn't played the ideal game. He kept thinking that everything will work itself out in the next one. In Trinidad, the Proteas captain finally got his desire.

The bowlers, who had done the majority of the heavy work for Afghanistan during the competition, gave Afghanistan no chance when they dismissed Gurbaz and Zadran early. Markram's captaincy then complemented this. He quickly realized that spin was effective during the West Indies match and employed himself for four overs.

He quickly read the surface during the semi-final and realized his pacers would take care of the work for him. He continued to support them, and players like Jansen, Rabada, and Nortje rose to the challenge. To finally break a curse and end a protracted wait for significant awards, South Africa will only need one more flawless match.

Afghanistan, get over your underdog status

It might take some time for Afghanistan's wounds from this game to heal. However, they are not ashamed of anything. They punched way above their weight during their World Cup run, which was a true fairytale.

The team went from being the underdogs to the eventual dark horses for the championship during the course of the competition. In order to go to the semi-finals, Rashid Khan and his team defeated Australia and New Zealand.

Afghanistan will now be regarded as the second-best Asian team behind India, following Pakistan's resignation and Sri Lanka and Bangladesh's lackluster performance in the tournament. 

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal requests Gita, home-cooked food, and belt during CBI custody

- With inputs from agencies

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