South Africa hold nerve to beat West Indies, enter T20 World Cup semifinals | ICC Men’s T20 World Cup News

There was no nervy ending for South Africa as they kept their cool under pressure to beat West Indies by three wickets in a rain-shortened Super Eights game in Antigua and booked a place in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 semifinals.

The rain-delayed match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium swayed between both sides on Sunday, but in the end, the night belonged to South Africa who chased down the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS method) adjusted target with five balls to spare.

South Africa asked West Indies to bat first and restricted the hosts to 135-8 in 20 overs, with left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi picking up three wickets for 27 runs in his four overs. Roston Chase top-scored with 52 runs.

Rain stopped play early on in South Africa’s chase and their target was readjusted to 123 from 17 overs when play resumed.

The Proteas seemed on track for a comfortable win when captain Aiden Markram and Tristan Stubbs were batting together, until Alzarri Joseph removed Markram.

With a partisan home crowd backing them, the men in maroon rallied to keep the pressure on the visitors.

West Indies kept breaking South African partnerships at regular intervals, but one poor over from spinner Gudakesh Motie, who gave away 20 runs, swayed the game back in favour of the Proteas.

The nervous nature of the chase, and South Africa’s history of falling short in the latter stages of world cups, meant the pressure was on their lower-order batters as the rest of the squad watched on from the dugout.

But Shamsi, who was named player of the match, said there was “no pressure” on the team and plenty of smiles when Marco Jansen sealed South Africa’s win with a six off Obed McCoy’s bowling in the last over.

“There was no pressure, no crazy thoughts in the dugout even when rain interrupted the game and we got into tricky situations,” he said after the match.

“We were all very calm.”

Markram said there was “a lot of relief” in the South African camp to have made it through to their first T20 World Cup semifinal in 10 years, but he urged his side to “put on [our] best game in the semifinal”.

South Africa go through as Group 2 winners and will play the second-placed side from Group 1.

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