South Africa reach T20 World Cup final for first time, demolish Afghanistan’s title dream – Sport

South Africa demolished Afghanistan’s T20 World Cup dream in ruthless fashion on Wednesday, thrashing the minnows by nine wickets with more than 11 overs to spare to reach the final of the cricket showpiece for the first time.

Left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3 for 6) and gangling pacer Marco Jansen (3-16) spearheaded the rout of Afghanistan’s brittle batting line-up for just 56 off 11.5 overs after they chose to bat.

Fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje maintained the relentless pressure with two wickets apiece at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad.

On a surface which encouraged all bowlers but left Afghanistan with too little to defend, South Africa lost Quinton de Kock early in reply for Fazalhaq Farooqi’s tournament-leading 17th wicket.

But Reeza Hendricks (29 not out) and captain Aiden Markram (23 not out) saw them to victory at 60 for one off 8.5 overs to advance the Proteas to Saturday’s final in Barbados where they will face the winners of Thursday’s second semi-final between title-holders England and unbeaten India in Guyana.

“We assessed pretty early that the wicket was giving us something to work with so it was just about sticking to our plans, keeping it simple and getting the results,” Man of the Match Jansen said of South Africa’s bowling display, which effectively ended the match as a contest.

Only Azmatullah Omarzai (10) got into double-figures for the Afghans while their highest contribution to the paltry total was 13 extras in a thoroughly deflating effort following Monday’s pulsating drama when they pipped Bangladesh in St. Vincent to reach the final four.

Throughout this dream run to their first semi-final of a senior men’s world tournament Afghanistan have been reliant on openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran to give them a solid platform and at the same time mask the frailties of the rest of the batting line-up.

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