T20 World Cup

South Africa edge past West Indies to reach semis


South Africa are through to their first T20 World Cup semi-final since 2014. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

By Sam DruryBBC Sport journalist, June 24: South Africa are through to the T20 World Cup semi-finals after a tense three-wicket win on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method over co-hosts West Indies in a winner-takes-all Super 8s match.

After England secured their place in the last four on Sunday, the game in Antigua was essentially a quarter-final to decide the other side to progress from Group 2.

Chasing a DLS revised target of 123, South Africa wobbled at times but ultimately withstood the pressure and Marco Jansen thumped a six to seal the win with five balls to spare.

Having restricted West Indies to 135-8, the Proteas appeared in control but Andre Russell struck twice in the second over of the chase to leave them 15-2.

The Windies’ momentum was halted immediately, though, by a sudden downpour that kept the players off the field for 75 minutes.

South Africa returned with a new target from 17 overs and a flurry of boundaries quickly put them back in the ascendency.

But with a raucous crowd at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium urging them on, the West Indies kept fighting with Roston Chase, who made 52 with the bat, taking three wickets.

As the game headed towards a nervy conclusion with South Africa needing nine from seven balls, Kagiso Rabada hit a glorious cover drive for four and Jansen finished the job at the start of the last over.

Earlier, it was South Africa's spinners who did the damage with the ball with Tabraiz Shamsi taking 3-28.

The Proteas go through top of the group, with England second, and will face the runners-up in Group 1.

It is still unclear which semi-final either team will play until India's final position in Group 1 is confirmed since Rohit Sharma's side will definitely play their last-four match in Guyana (Thursday, 16:30 BST). The other semi-final is in Trinidad, also on Thursday (01:30).

Spinners lead the way for Proteas

South Africa remained unbeaten at this World Cup after a seventh straight win.

They have been involved in a number of extremely tight games but keep getting over the line with different players stepping up at crucial times.

In North Sound, it was the turn of the spinners with captain Aiden Markram the first to make an impact, removing the dangerous Nicholas Pooran as West Indies slipped to 5-2 early on.

The skipper, who is better than a part-time off-spinner but by no means a genuine all-rounder, bowled his four overs in succession for just 28 runs.

Shamsi took over in the middle overs, breaking a key 81-run partnership between Chase and Kyle Mayers and eventually dismissed both, as well as Sherfane Rutherford.

Keshav Maharaj played his part, too, dismissing Windies skipper Rovman Powell with a beautiful delivery that dipped late and gripped to turn past the bat, leading to a stumping.

The effectiveness of the Proteas spinners was such that fast bowler Rabada was not introduced to the attack until the 18th over.

West Indies' powerful batting line-up was negated and, despite more than a few sticky moments with the bat, South Africa got over the line to reach their first T20 World Cup semi-final in 10 years.

'A lot of relief' - reaction

South Africa captain Aiden Markram: "A lot of relief to get through to the semi-final.

"But I'm not going to be brainwashed by that, we'd have liked to be a lot more convincing in getting the job done.

"It's been the story of our competition to get ourselves into tricky situations and then by hook or by crook, get over the line."

West Indies captain Rovman Powell: "Credit to the boys, they fought to the very end. As a batting group, best to forget, the middle overs especially.

"When you look on a large scale, we haven't reached the semis. But the cricket we've played in the last 12 months is commendable. To move from number nine to number three in the world, there's a lot of buzz in West Indies cricket.

"When we hear the anthem play we hear something, we're heading in the right direction."

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