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South Africa Beat Afghanistan to Reach Maiden T20 World Cup Final

Trinidad: South Africa broke their ICC knockout hoodoo in emphatic fashion, thrashing Afghanistan by 9 wickets to secure a place in their first-ever T20 World Cup final. The semi-final clash, held in Trinidad on Wednesday, saw the Proteas, led by Aiden Markram, dominate the Rashid Khan-led Afghan team, who were playing in their maiden World Cup semi-final.

Opting to bat first at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Afghanistan faced a relentless South African bowling attack. In-form openers Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz were dismissed early, setting the tone for a disastrous batting performance. The Afghans were soon reduced to 23 for 5, with South African pacers Marco Jansen, Anrich Nortje, and Kagiso Rabada making regular breakthroughs.

Jansen and spinner Tabriaz Shamsi were the standout bowlers, each taking three wickets. Jansen bowled accurately, targeting the stumps and reaping rewards, while Shamsi swiftly cleaned up the tail. Afghanistan’s innings ended at a meager 56 in 11.5 overs, marking the lowest-ever score in a T20 World Cup semi-final. Only Azmatullah Omarzai managed to reach double digits, scoring 10 runs.

In response, South Africa’s chase was briefly interrupted when opener Quinton de Kock was dismissed by pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi, who finished the tournament as the leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps. However, that was the only highlight for Afghanistan as Reeza Hendricks (29 not out) and captain Markram (23 not out) effortlessly guided their team to victory, completing the chase with 67 balls to spare.

The T20 World Cup final is scheduled for Saturday, June 29, at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

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