South Africa Maiden Men's World Cup Final

South Africa Demolish Afghanistan to Reach Maiden Men’s World Cup Final

4.8/5 - (6 votes)

In a dominant display, South Africa’s quicks ravaged Afghanistan’s top order, reducing them to 56 all out in the first semi-final of the men’s T20 World Cup 2024. The South African batters then made quick work of the chase, securing a place in their first-ever men’s World Cup final.

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

South Africa reached their first-ever men’s T20 World Cup final with a dominant nine-wicket victory over Afghanistan, thanks to brilliant bowling from Marco Jansen and Tabraiz Shamsi.

A Devastating Bowling Performance

South Africa’s bowlers were relentless from the outset. Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada exploited the Tarouba pitch’s bounce and lateral movement to decimate Afghanistan’s top order. Jansen struck in the first over, removing the tournament’s top batter, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, with a ball angled across him, caught by Reeza Hendricks at slip. He then bowled Gulbadin Naib with a delivery that darted back in.

Rabada’s first over was equally destructive, taking out Ibrahim Zadran and Mohammad Nabi with consecutive deliveries. Ibrahim, Afghanistan’s best hope, saw his middle stump clipped, while Nabi’s off stump was shattered by a stunning delivery. Rabada’s over was a double-wicket maiden, leaving Afghanistan in tatters.

Middle Order Collapse

With their top five back in the pavilion and their middle order struggling throughout the tournament, Afghanistan’s innings never recovered. Anrich Nortje and Tabraiz Shamsi mopped up the remaining wickets. Nortje dismissed Azmatullah Omarzai, the only Afghan batter to reach double figures, and later bowled Rashid Khan. Shamsi trapped three right-handers lbw, with Afghanistan’s reviews failing to overturn the on-field decisions.

South Africa’s Chase

Defending a paltry 56, Afghanistan’s bowlers Fazalhaq Farooqi and Naveen-ul-Haq had slim hopes of causing an upset. Farooqi provided a brief moment of hope, bowling Quinton de Kock in his first over. Naveen almost dismissed Aiden Markram in the next over, but a thin edge went unnoticed, and the decision was not reviewed.

Markram and Hendricks then steered South Africa home, taking advantage of any loose deliveries. Despite some testing moments on the tricky pitch, they reached the target in the ninth over, securing a nine-wicket victory with 67 balls to spare.

Historic Victory

For a team known for their nervy performances in knockout stages, this win was a masterclass in control and execution. South Africa’s bowlers set the tone, their fielding was sharp, and the batters handled the chase with composure. This victory extends their unbeaten run to eight matches and marks their first-ever berth in a men’s World Cup final.

Stats and Reactions

  • Dwayne Bravo: “Afghanistan have everything a T20 team needs.”
  • Stats: South Africa men’s maiden World Cup final, Afghanistan’s lowest T20I total.

South Africa now looks ahead to their historic final, carrying momentum and confidence from this commanding performance.