South Africa secure semi-final berth with nail-biting win over West ...

19 days ago
West Indies vs South Africa
The Proteas are through to the final four, winning an eventful Super Eight clash with the Windies, which ends the co-hosts' campaign.

It probably didn't need to be that tricky at the death. But that's just how the Proteas roll at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.

South Africa have won yet another tight one and secured progression to the knockout stages of the tournament, entering the final four unbeaten.

They scraped home against a spirited West Indies side that never gave in, sealing victory with five balls to spare and running out of batting options.

Despite the tight finish, the Proteas were on top for most of the must-win clash, which started at the toss – opting to field first at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

Semi-final scenarios: Four teams chasing final two spots

Aiden Markram handed Marco Jansen the new-ball and the quick delivered, as Shai Hope was lost for a first ball duck. The captain had just as much success next over, tempting Nicholas Pooran who skied one down the ground – it was well held by Jansen.

Jansen should’ve had a second dismissal, bowling to Roston Chase, but Anrich Nortje put down a tough chance with the ball swirling high in the wind. Chase took full advantage, compiling a Powerplay fightback with Kyle Mayers.

The Windies made it to 47/2 at the six-over mark, capped off with a Mayers maximum on the last ball of the sixth over.

Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen were involved in an unfortunate collision

Another Mayers six in the eighth proved costly for the Proteas, as Jansen and Kagiso Rabada collided awkwardly on the rope, both attempting to take the catch. The incident halted play for several minutes, with Jansen appearing to cop the worst of it. The all-rounder was taken off the ground for further assessment. Rabada remained out there, but hadn’t yet been used as a bowler and it was unclear if he would be.

Living dangerously, Mayers and Chase carried the West Indies to 62/2 off the first 10 overs, with both going better than a run-a-ball, swinging the momentum back in the hosts' favour.

But the fun ran out at the end of the 12th over, as Mayers was out for 35 off 34 balls. His departure triggered more wickets, as South Africa regained control.

Rovman Powell (1 off 2) and Sherfane Rutherford (0 off 4) went in consecutive overs, before Tabraiz Shamsi made the important breakthrough by removing Chase (52 off 42) to start over 16.

It was all on Andre Russell to pull his side to a competitive total, delivering two huge sixes in the 17th over. But Russell authored his own demise with an ill-advised quick single attempt. He was run out by Nortje, just short of his crease – a fielding effort that undoubtedly made up for Nortje's earlier drop.

Dre Russ accounted for the openers

Rabada did eventually attempt to bowl in the 18th over and produced a sharp caught-and-bowled dismissal, removing Akeal Hosein, that proved the quick was feeling fine after the earlier incident.

Alzarri Joseph scrambled for late runs as the West Indies made it to 135/8 on a reasonable surface, handing the Proteas the advantage at the halfway mark.

Needing under seven an over for the win, Quinton de Kock looked in a hurry from the outset. Lightning in the area may have been a factor, making the Proteas chase a fast in case of weather-affected finish.

Andre Russell bowled the second over, which began by finding a faint leg side edge to have Reeza Hendricks caught behind. His over then finished with the crucial removal of de Kock who holed out at deep backward square leg.

Suddenly, the rain arrived and play stopped – another three overs were required for the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method to come into effect. After a lengthy break, DLS revised the target to 123 off 17 overs, which also removed one over off the Powerplay.

Par score at the five-over mark was 37 runs and the Proteas arrived there at 41/2, thanks to back-to-back boundaries from Tristan Stubbs in the fifth over.

Alzarri Joseph struck with just his second ball, forcing a mistimed drive from Markram (18 off 15), providing the hosts growing belief.

But an expensive over from Gudakesh Motie, four boundaries for 20 runs, tipped the scales back in South Africa’s favour. Stubbs and Heinrich Klaason looked firmly up to the task at hand.

Joseph then removed Klaason (22 off 10), but Stubbs’ presence became more key. Again it looked comfortable for the Proteas, until the right-hander tried to go over long on – out for 29 off 27.

Roston Chase had 6/2 off two overs, giving the West Indies a slim chance at the death. Joseph bowled the third-last over and the requirement became 13 off 12.

With the match again on a knife’s edge, Jansen and Rabada - the two that earlier collided in the field - were the cricketers at the crease looking to become the heroes. A crucial boundary on the seventh-last ball made the requirement five from six, with Obed McCoy then stepping up to the plate to bowl the final over.

And in spite of the immense tension in the middle, Jansen swung with everything he had off the first delivery. The all-rounder smashed one back over McCoy’s head, which cleared the rope and sealed victory for the Proteas, with five balls to spare.

South Africa made tough work of a run chase that, at times, looked comfortable, as the Windies never gave up the fight. And yet there was an heir of emphaticness about the shot that ended it, ensuring South Africa goes through to the Semi-Final stage still unbeaten – seven from seven and into the final four.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024NewsICC Men's T20 World Cup, 2024

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