T20WC24: Shamsi, Jansen demolish Afghanistan; South Africa coast into first final

Riding high after qualifying for their first ever World Cup semi-final, Afghanistan were yesterday brought very low—56 all out—by South Africa. At the Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba, Aiden Markram’s men reached their target for the loss of just one wicket to book a place in a World Cup final for the first time.

Markram declared that it was a good toss to lose and praised the collective effort of his team. He showered deserved praise on his bowlers.

South Africa cricketers celebrate a wicket by Marco Jansen during their 2024 ICC T20 World Cup semifinal win over Afghanistan at the Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Pacer Marco Jansen, adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his three wickets for 16 runs, reciprocated, calling his captain “awesome” and saying that “he keeps us calm”.

Calm or not, the South African bowling machine worked like a dream. Jansen started the slide with the last ball of the first over, inducing an edge from Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s bat for Reeza Hendricks to snaffle the low catch at slip. He then bowled #3 Gulbadin Naib (9) with the third ball of his second over.

Between Naib’s dismissal and the end, it was just a procession to the middle and back. Kagiso Rabada knocked the stuffing out of the middle order, removing both Ibrahim Zadran (2) and Mohammed Nabi (0) with the first and fourth balls of his first over.

Wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi claimed three rapid scalps at the back end to ensure there would be no recovery.

South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada (right) celebrates with his teammates after their 2024 ICC T20 World Cup semifinal win over Afghanistan in Tarouba, Trinidad on 26 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Nabi’s duck was his eighth, one more than his skipper Rashid Khan who managed two lusty blows on the day before Anrich Nortje cleaned up his exposed stumps.

Like Rabada, Nortje bowled straight and fast to claim 2/7 while the tail could make no headway against the web spun by Shamsi (3/6).

In the end, Extras was the top scorer, totalling three more than the ten that came off Azmatullah Omarzai’s bat.

Rashid said “it was a tough night for us as a team,” adding that “we didn’t bat well” and “when we come back in the tournament, we need to do better”.

Afghanistan’s fairytale run in the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup ended against South Africa in the semifinals on 26 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

“We are capable of beating any side,” he said. But “there is a lot of hard work to be done.”

“If you told us before the tournament,” he attempted to console himself, his team and his supporters, “that we would be playing the semifinal against South Africa, we would accept that.”

Fazalhaq Farooqi temporarily raised Afghan spirits, finding a way past Quinton De Kock’s attempted drive in the second over. But despite  a few alarums caused by the uneven bounce of the surface, Markram and Hendricks made light work of the modest target.

South Africa captain Aiden Markram (second from left) is congratulated by spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (far left) after their 2024 ICC T20 World Cup semifinal win over Afghanistan in Tarouba, Trinidad on 26 June 2024.
Photo: ICC/ Getty

Defending champions England and India face off on Thursday morning to decide who will stand in the way of the Proteas capturing their first major trophy. They have a history of not delivering on the big occasions. But in this tournament so far, they have always contrived to get it done.

Markram said that there was “a lot of belief in the squad” and that  he and his men will be hoping to “put together a really good game of cricket”  in Saturday’s final in Barbados.

The South Africans fans too will be hoping that their team can show them and the whole world that the disappointing performances of the past are now just that, history.

The Brian Lara Cricket Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad braces for action between the West Indies and New Zealand on 12 June 2024.
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868

Summarised scores

Toss: Afghanistan

Afghanistan: 56 all out (11.5 overs) (Tabraiz Shamsi 3/6, Marco Jansen 3/16, Anrich Nortje 2/7, Kagiso Rabada 2/14)

South Africa: 60 for 1 (8.5 overs) (Reeza Hendricks 29, Aiden Markram 23; Fazalhaq Farooqi 1/11)

Player-of-the-Match: Marco Jansen

Result: South Africa win by 9 wickets

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