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HomeSportsAfghanistan and South Africa aim for first-ever T20 World Cup final spot

Afghanistan and South Africa aim for first-ever T20 World Cup final spot

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Afghanistan and South Africa are set to compete in the T20 World Cup semi-final on Wednesday at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba. This match will determine which team makes its inaugural appearance in a T20 World Cup final, with the victor facing either India or England in Sunday’s final.

South Africa enter the semi-final unbeaten, having secured seven wins in the tournament, including close victories over England, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Their performance in this competition has been characterised by resilience in tightly contested matches.

“Obviously, most of the games have been a lot closer than we would have personally liked, but the amazing thing is that this new Proteas team always seems to get over the line,” said left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. “We’ve been put under immense pressure 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 is. That’s really pleasing for us as a unit.”

Afghanistan’s progression to this stage has been historic. Their victory over Bangladesh on Monday secured their place in the semi-finals and eliminated Australia from the competition. Celebrations back home were quickly halted by Taliban authorities, but the prospect of making the final has kept spirits high.

“I think the semi-final is going to be a massive, massive inspiration for the youngsters back home in Afghanistan,” said captain Rashid Khan. “It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

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Rashid Khan emphasised the significance of playing at the Brian Lara Stadium, noting that the West Indies legend was one of the few who foresaw Afghanistan’s success in this tournament.

“When you get the kind of great, great statements from a legend, it gives you lots of energy as well,” Rashid added. “We are capable — but as long as we keep things very simple, and in the whole competition so far, we have kept things simple.”

The semi-final line-up also includes a clash between India and England at Guyana’s Providence Stadium on Thursday. India, led by Rohit Sharma, are seeking to claim their first major ICC title since 2013. Sharma’s leadership and batting have been pivotal, especially his recent performance against Australia.

Rohit stated, “We don’t want to do anything different in the semi-final against England. We want to play the same way, understand what the individuals need to do in a given situation, and play freely.”

England, who recovered from early losses in the tournament, aim to defend their title after showing marked improvement in their recent matches.

“We have to do our homework and make sure we plan well and try to execute, and then make sure we get to the final,” said Chris Jordan, who took a hat-trick in their last game against the USA. “You have to beat the best at some point to win the tournament.”

Rain could be a factor in both semi-finals, with weather forecasts suggesting potential disruptions. If play is washed out, the higher-ranked team from the Super Eight will progress, potentially setting up a final between India and South Africa.

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