Home Sport Cricket Five takeaways from SA’s historic T20 World Cup semi-final win

Five takeaways from SA’s historic T20 World Cup semi-final win

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The Proteas warmed South Africans’ hearts on a cold winter’s morning by beating Afghanistan in a rather one-sided ICC T20 World Cup semi-final. We look at five key moments from the semi-final.

South Africa’s captain Aiden Markram (left) celebrates during a T20 World Cup match. Picture: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS, AFP

The Proteas warmed our hearts on a cold winter’s morning by beating Afghanistan in a rather one-sided ICC T20 World Cup semi-final.

John Goliath looks at five key moments from the semi-final.

Great toss to lose …

Proteas captain Aiden Markram said he would also have batted if he had won the toss. A semi-final comes with extra pressure and both teams were probably thinking that runs on the board would be key, especially for Afghanistan, who would have hoped to get enough runs on the board to get their spinners in the mix.

In the end, they couldn’t handle the potent Proteas attack, with their brittle middle-order unable to handle the swing, seam and uneven bounce. For once, the Proteas had a bit of luck when it came to coin toss in a World Cup knockout match.

Dream power play for the Proteas

Marco Jansen seemed to have only two deliveries on the night – a leg-side wide to the right-hander and a wicket-taking ball. Extras ended up top scoring with 13, but the South Africans won’t care after their speedsters blew Afghanistan away in the power play.

Jansen took 3/16 in his opening spell, taking a wicket in each of his three overs. But it was Kagiso Rabada who turned the match on its head with two wickets in his first over. The Afghans could only manage 28/5 in the power play that burst their bubble.

Anrich Nortje brings the heat, Tabraiz Shamsi the guile …

Anrich Nortje, sporting an 80s speedcop moustache, launched thunderbolts at the Afghanistan batsmen. Rashid Khan and Nortje had some verbals, as things got tense out in the middle, but the SA speedster came out on top, uprooting the Afghanistan’s captain’s off-stump with a quick delivery.

The Afghans were probably delighted to see a bowler who doesn’t deliver the ball at over 140km/h, but Tabraiz Shamsi cleaned up the tail by taking three wickets in 11 balls. It was a clinical and match-winning display by the South African bowlers.

Afghanistan’s speedsters come out firing …

A total of 57 should be chased 99 times out of a 100, even on such a suspect pitch. However, South Africans know that if there is one team that can mess it up, it’s the Proteas.

The South Africans made a shaky start when Naveen-ul-Haq and Fazalhaq Farooqi got the new ball to talk, nipping the ball off the deck and getting a few to keep low and spit off a length. Farooqi bowled Quinton de Kock to send half the country behind the couch to hide. Surely, not again was the question on SA fans’ lips.

Struggling batters steady the ship to see Proteas home …

Reeza Hendricks and Markram have been struggling for form this entire tournament, and this was definitely not the type of pitch they wanted to face in such a pressure situation.

However, they absorbed the pressure, surviving the seam movement and uneven bounce before sending a few to the boundary. Markram, especially, hit a couple of top shots on the up, which will hopefully give him some confidence ahead of Saturday’s final.

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