South Africa Destroy Afghanistan to go into T20 Finals… Issues with BLCA Pitch

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Caption: Taking care of business – Kagiso Rabada and Tabraiz Shamsi do the job for South Africa and look to the finals in Barbados on Saturday. AZP News/Azlan Mohammed

South Africa 60 for 1 (Hendricks 29*, Farooqi 1-11) beat Afghanistan 56 (Omarzai 10, Shamsi 3-6, Jansen 3-16) by nine wickets

By Prior Beharry

SOUTH Africa trounced Afghanistan in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2024.

Their fast bowlers wreaked havoc in the early overs, dismissing Afghanistan’s top order in quick succession, ultimately bundling them out for 56 runs.

But, questions were raised about the condition of the pitch at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) in Tabrouba, Trinidad on Wednesday evening.

When asked about it, Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott said, “I don’t want to get myself into trouble and I don’t want to come across as bitter or it being a case of sour grapes, but that’s not the pitch that you want to have a match, a semi-final of a World Cup, on plain and simple. It should be a fair contest. I’m not saying it should be flat completely with no spin and no seam movement, but I’m saying you shouldn’t have batsmen worrying about going forward and the ball flying over their head. You should be confident in your foot movement and being able to hit through the line or use your skills.

Kagiso Rabada sends Mohammed Nabi’s off stump flying

“T20 is about attacking and about scoring runs and taking wickets, not looking to survive. If the opposition bowled well and got to a position where they bowled very, very well and it’s through skill, then that’s fine and then it’s about adapting to that.”

He added, “But once the ball starts misbehaving and rolling… if we had bowled as straight as South Africa had, I think you would have seen a very interesting second half as well. South Africa bowled well, used the conditions, and showed our boys what it’s capable of. But it just didn’t go our way tonight.”

South Africa happy to see the back of Mohammed Nabi

Speaking after the game on ESPNcricinfo’s analysis show Timeout, former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower said, “Those conditions were simply not good enough.”

Marco Jansen goes through the gates of a jumping Gulbadin Naib

On June 14, during a group stage match Uganda were bowled out for 40 by New Zealand same ground. That is the third lowest score in T20 World Cups.

Afghanistan’s 56 is the seventh lowest.

Nangeyalia Kharote was the fifth wicket that Afghanistan lost in the Power Play. Another Player of the Match Marco Janen victim.

Rashid Khan won the toss and elected to bat. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was caught at slip by Reeza Hendricks from Marco Jasen in the last ball of the first over. In his second over Jansen had Gulbadin Naib clean bowled. Kagiso Rabada then had Ibrahim Zadran and Mohammed Nabi bowled in the fourth over, it was 20 for 4 in 3.4 overs.

Tabraiz Shamsi destroys the lower order

Three wickets in a Power Play may be a game changer, five is a game winner. At the end of six overs, Afghanistan were 28 for five.

They were scuttled out for 56 in 11.5 overs with Azmatullah Omarzai top scoring with 10.

Tabraiz Shamsi has Noor Ahmad LBW

Player of the Match was Jansen for his 3 for 16 in just three overs. Tabraiz Shamsi demolished the tailenders with three wickets for six runs in 1.5 overs.

Despite losing Quinton de Kock early in the chase, Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks expertly navigated the challenging Tarouba pitch to secure a comfortable victory.

Enjoying the T20 World Cup semifinals at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy

Known for their inconsistent performances in knockout matches, South Africa left no room for doubt in this encounter. They showcased exceptional bowling and fielding skills, capitalised on loose deliveries, and maintained composure throughout. This triumph not only earned them their first-ever spot in a men’s World Cup final but also extended their unbeaten streak in the tournament to eight matches.

The margin of victory was nine wickets with 67 balls to spare.

South Africa has many cause for celebration as they get all ten Afghanistan wickets in 11.5 overs

The Tarouba pitch offered movement and bounce early on, effectively utilised by the towering duo of Jansen and Rabada.

The Proteas happy

Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi further tightened the noose, restricting Afghanistan and chipping away at their dwindling hopes.

South Africa now wait on the winner of the second semis of the T20 World Cup 2024 in Guyana today between India and England.

South Africa now head to the finals in Barbados

The finals is on Saturday in Barbados.


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