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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 July 2024

T20 World Cup: 'New' South Africa get over the line, again

After wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3/27) restricted West Indies to 135/8, South Africa achieved the revised target of 123 with five balls to spare

Our Bureau, PTI North Sound Published 25.06.24, 10:13 AM
Kagiso Rabada celebrates with (right) Quinton de Kock after Andre Russell’s run out during South Africa’s Super 8 match against the West Indies in Antigua.

Kagiso Rabada celebrates with (right) Quinton de Kock after Andre Russell’s run out during South Africa’s Super 8 match against the West Indies in Antigua. AP/PTI

South Africa’s golden generation of white-ball cricketers took a big step towards erasing the “eternal chokers” tag by keeping their composure to enter the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup, beating a formidable West Indies by three wickets in a thrilling rain-truncated Super Eight game on Sunday.

After wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (3/27) restricted West Indies to 135/8, South Africa achieved the revised target of 123 with five balls to spare.

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They were 15/2 in two ov­ers when rain stopped play.

With this win, South Africa topped Group 2 followed by defending champions England who made it as the second team to make the knockouts from this pool. Hosts West Indies were eliminated.

Tristan Stubbs (29 off 27), one of the most talked-about among young T20 batters, set up the chase in company of Heinrich Klaasen (22 off 10) for the South Africans.

But it was Marco Jansen (21 not out off 14), who smashed a six down the ground off the first ball of the 17th over bowled by left-arm pacer Obed McCoy to seal the deal.

Equally praiseworthy was Kagiso Rabada’s copybook cover drive off Roston Chase when South Africa required 9 off 7 balls.

“Lot of relief to get through to the semi-final. We would have liked to be a lot more convincing,” said South African skipper Aiden Markram.

The introduction of Shamsi into the attack in the 10th over was critical.

“Fortunately, I’ve been able to play CPL for the last five or six years,” Shamsi said. “And one thing you know, with the West Indian boys, you don’t have to guess what their intent is going to be. It helps you formulate a plan or expect what you’re going to be coming up against, and then it’s about trying to utilise the different variations you have.”

Shamsi believes South Africa are now embracing life on the tipping point.

“The amazing thing is that this new Proteas team always seems to get over the line,” Shamsi said. “We’ve been put under huge pressure basically in every single game that we’ve played.

“And the boys have managed to find a way to win no matter what the situation is, no matter how close the game. So that’s really easy for us to do. In a funny way, we’re looking forward to it.”

Brief scores: WI 135/8 in 20 (Roston Chase 52; Tabraiz Shamsi 3/27). SA 124/7 in 16.1 (Target 123 in 17; Tristian Stubbs 29, Marco Jansen 21 n.o.). SA won by 3 wkts.

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