South Africa bowl out Afghanistan to advance to their first T20 World Cup final.

Marco Jansen and Tabraiz Shamsi each took three wickets as South Africa bowled out Afghanistan for 56, securing a dominant nine-wicket victory in the first T20 World Cup semi-final in Trinidad on Wednesday.

This win marks South Africa’s first triumph in eight short-format World Cup semi-finals dating back to 1992. They will face the winner of Thursday’s second semi-final between India and defending champions England in their first final on Saturday.

Defying their reputation as perennial underachievers, the Proteas dismantled the Afghan batting lineup in less than 12 overs at Brian Lara Stadium, restricting their opponents to their lowest-ever score in T20 internationals.

Despite some inconsistent batting performances throughout the tournament, South Africa recovered quickly after Fazalhaq Farooqi bowled Quinton de Kock early. Reeza Hendricks and captain Aiden Markram guided the team to their target within nine overs without further loss.

Afghanistan, playing in their first semi-final after an exhilarating win over Bangladesh in their final Super Eight match in St Vincent on Monday, opted to bat first after winning the toss.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the tournament’s top run-scorer, and Ibrahim Zadran had been key to Afghanistan’s batting success, achieving three century opening partnerships during their remarkable run to the semi-finals.

However, left-arm pacer Jansen (3-16) dismissed Gurbaz for a duck in the first over and returned in the third over to bowl Gulbadin Naib for nine. Kagiso Rabada (2-14) maintained pressure from the other end, dismissing Zadran and Mohammad Nabi in the fourth over for minimal runs.

Anrich Nortje (2-7) added two more wickets, while Shamsi (3-6) cleaned up the tail, making Afghanistan the first team to score fewer than 100 runs in a T20 World Cup semi-final.

Despite their dire situation, Afghanistan’s bowlers fought back, with tournament leading wicket-taker Farooqi bowling de Kock in the second over for his 17th victim. However, Hendricks (29 not out) and Markram (23 not out) remained composed, steadily accumulating runs to reach their modest target.

Hendricks sealed the victory with a six off a free hit and a four on consecutive balls, extending South Africa’s winning streak in the tournament to eight matches.

Related posts