South Africa down West Indies in rain-hit thriller to earn T20 World Cup semis spot

NEW YORK   -   South Africa registered a thrilling three-wicket victory over co-hosts West Indies, securing their place in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 semifinals in a dramatic Super Eights clash at Antigua. The rain-affected match saw South Africa chase down a revised target of 123 runs in 17 overs, with Marco Jansen hitting a decisive six to seal the win with five balls to spare.Initially set a target of 136 runs, South Africa got off to a promising start with Quinton de Kock striking three boundaries in the first over. However, Andre Russell’s sharp bowling quickly brought West Indies back into the game, dismissing Reeza Hendricks for a golden duck and de Kock for 12 in quick succession, leaving South Africa at 15-2 after two overs.Alzarri Joseph further dented South Africa’s chase by removing captain Aiden Markram for 18. Heinrich Klaasen briefly revived the innings with a brisk 22 off 10 balls, but Joseph struck again to dismiss Klaasen, putting West Indies back in contention.

Tristan Stubbs and David Miller then steadied the innings, cautiously bringing the target within reach. However, Roston Chase’s effective off-spin turned the tide once more. Chase bowled Miller for 4 and dismissed Stubbs, who top-scored with 29 off 27 balls, reducing South Africa to a precarious position. Marco Jansen, showing remarkable composure, kept the scoreboard ticking. Despite losing Keshav Maharaj in the penultimate over, Kagiso Rabada’s crucial boundary helped South Africa regain momentum. With five runs needed off the final six balls, Jansen secured the victory with a six over long-on, finishing unbeaten on 21 off 14 balls.

For West Indies, Chase was the standout bowler with figures of 3-12, while Russell and Joseph took two wickets each. Earlier, South Africa’s decision to bowl first paid off as they reduced West Indies to 5-2 within the first two overs, with Jansen and Markram claiming early wickets. Kyle Mayers and Roston Chase led West Indies’ recovery, adding 81 runs off 65 balls. However, Shamsi’s breakthrough, dismissing Mayers for 35, triggered a collapse. West Indies slipped from 86-3 to 97-6, with Chase top-scoring with 52 off 42 balls. Shamsi, who was named Player of the Match, finished with 3-27, while Jansen, Markram, Maharaj, and Rabada each took one wicket.

Reflecting on the tense finish, player of the match Tabraiz Shamsi said: “It was quite nervy out there, but we’ve been finding ways to win throughout this World Cup. The six from Jansen was incredible, and it showed our resilience. The support from our fans and the backing from our coaching staff has been tremendous. This victory, like others, was a team effort, and each player has contributed to our success.”

Scores in Brief

SOUTH AFRICA 124-7 (Stubbs 29, Klaasen 22, Jansen 21*, Chase 3-12) beat WEST INDIES 135-8 (Chase 52, Mayers 35, Shamsi 3-27)by three wickets via DLS method.

Scores in Brief

India 205 for 5 (Rohit 92, Hazlewood 1-14) beat Australia 181 for 7 (Head 76, Arshdeep 3-37, Kuldeep 2-24) by 24 runs.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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