South Africa vs West Indies T20 World Cup semi-final

South Africa

South Africa Clinches Tense Win Over West Indies to Secure T20 World Cup Semi-Final Spot

South Africa displayed remarkable composure to edge past the West Indies by three wickets using the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-affected thriller in Antigua, securing their place in the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals on Sunday. With this victory, the unbeaten Proteas join England as the last four from Group 2.

In a match filled with tension and dramatic moments, Marco Jansen emerged as the hero for South Africa, smashing a six off the first ball of the final over to reach their revised target of 123. This six sealed a victory that seemed precarious at various points throughout the match.

The match was initially set up by South Africa’s left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who took 3-27, playing a pivotal role in restricting the West Indies to 135-8. The hosts were unable to capitalize on their home advantage due to a rainstorm that caused a lengthy delay.

Spinner Roston Chase provided a late twist in the South African innings with a spell of 3-12, creating hope for the West Indies as they sought to keep their tournament dreams alive. Despite his efforts, the Proteas managed to cross the finish line, much to the relief of their captain, Aiden Markram.

“There’s a lot of relief ultimately to get through to the semi-final,” said Markram. “It’s been the story of our tournament, getting ourselves into tricky positions and somehow getting over the line.”

The tournament’s semi-final lineup will be completed after Monday’s matches, where India faces Australia in St Lucia, and Afghanistan takes on Bangladesh in St Vincent in the final Super Eight matches.

Choosing to bowl first after winning the toss, South Africa quickly justified their decision. Key West Indies batsmen Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran were dismissed within the first two overs, leaving the hosts struggling at 5-2.

Kyle Mayers, brought in as an injury replacement just a day before, provided some stability with an 81-run partnership for the third wicket with Roston Chase. Despite some nervous moments, including a dropped catch and a successful lbw review, their stand was crucial. Shamsi ended this partnership in the 12th over when Mayers was caught for 35, attempting a big shot.

The West Indies innings failed to gain momentum after that. Shamsi struck again, dismissing Chase for 52 and Sherfane Rutherford for a duck. Andre Russell tried to provide a late boost with a couple of sixes but was run out for 15, leaving the West Indies with a sub-par total.

Recognizing their low score, the West Indies knew they needed a strong bowling performance. Russell provided a glimmer of hope by taking a wicket with the first ball of the South African innings and another in his second over, leaving South Africa at 2-12.

However, the momentum shifted when a rain delay halted play for 90 minutes. When the game resumed, South Africa, at 15-2, started to rebuild with Tristan Stubbs and Aiden Markram. Although Markram fell for 18, and Heinrich Klaasen was dismissed for 22, the Proteas remained on track, needing just a run-a-ball.

Chase’s late wickets brought the match to a nail-biting finish. He bowled David Miller for four and dismissed Stubbs for 29 and Keshav Maharaj for two, pushing the game into the final over.

“I think credit must be given to the boys, I think they fought to the very end,” said West Indies captain Rovman Powell. “As a batting group, this is one performance we’ll try our best to forget. It was a commendable bowling effort; we said we were going to give it our all, and whatever happens, happens.”

Despite their commendable fight, the West Indies’ efforts were in vain as Jansen’s final blow sealed South Africa’s place in the semi-finals, underscoring the Proteas’ resilience and determination in the tournament.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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