T20 World Cup: South Africa banish semifinal jinx with 9-wicket win over Afghanistan

NEW DELHI: South Africa defeated an emotionally spent Afghanistan by nine wickets at Tarouba, Trinidad, to advance to their first-ever T20 World Cup final. They did this by casting aside their agonizing semifinal jinx with a masterful display of pace bowling.
The Afghans will walk home with their heads held high following an inspiring run in the tournament.South Africa will face the winners of the second semifinal between India and England for the championship.
After being asked to bowl, Marco Jansen (3/16), Kagiso Rabada (2/14) and Anrich Nortje (2/7) tore the soul out of the Afghanistan top-order, bundling them out for a pitiful 56 in just 11.5 overs, according to PTI.
Even after Quinton de Kock was bowled through the gate by fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi, the Proteas managed to reach 60 for 1 in 8.5 overs with relative ease.
They have finally broken away from the agonizing label of chokers in international competitions with to the efforts of Reeza Hendricks (29 not out), who achieved his highest score in this event, and skipper Aiden Markram (23 not out), who guided them safely to the shores of triumph.
Afghanistan had to sacrifice everything to get to the World Cup semifinals, but they had little energy left for the match and made a pitiful effort that belied their previous resilience.
Their batting suffered as a result, seeming abnormally nervous against the South African pacers who conjured a demon.

The Afghans were reduced to 28 for five during the Powerplay, and they were unable to recover as they collapsed to their lowest score in a Twenty20 International.
Their 56 was also the lowest total in a semifinal match in the T20 World Cup.
Afghanistan’s hopes of making their first World Cup final were dashed from the word go as they were reduced to 28 for six. They were unable to even muster a smidgeon of resistance.
The Afghan hitters should also take some of the blame for being overly cautious on a pitch that held no dangers other than deliveries that bounced up from a length, even if the South African pacers were spot on.
After chasing Jansen’s delivery outside the off-stump, opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz was the first to fall, giving Reeza Hendricks an easy catch at slip.
The Afghanistan lineup appeared to be shaken by the dismissal of the in-form Gurbaz, and Jansen’s stunning in-coming delivery overwhelmed Gulbadin Naib.
But the bowler’s genius and the batsmen’s folly combined to produce the next two dismissals.

Much was riding on Ibrahim Zadran for the Afghans, and he did not shift a foot against a Rabada delivery that was slightly off-target. There was just enough space for the ball to elude the pad and bat and jar Zadran’s leg-stump.
The only difference was that Rabada disturbed the off-stump this time around. Mohammad Nabi was dismissed three balls into the fourth over.
With the scalp of Azmatullah Omarzai, whose slash caught Tristan Stubbs in the deep, Nortje joined the group.
The three Afghan players who had scored the most runs in this ICC showcase, Gurbaz, Zadran, and Omarzai, combined for a pitiful 12 runs on the important day.
In order to witness the stump closest to his legs cartwheeling around the field, skipper Rashid Khan, who had the opportunity to make some crucial runs, decided to expose all of his stumps to Nortje.
Leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3/6) removed Karim Jannat and Noor Ahmad from the Afghanistan batting lineup with two wickets in an over.

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