South Africa, England reach semi-finals

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Antigua, June 25: South Africa edged the West Indies by three wickets in a rain-affected Super Eights match on Sunday to reach the T20 World Cup semi-finals and eliminate the hosts.

Chasing a revised 123 off 17 overs, South Africa stuttered to 110-7 as Roston Chase took three wickets, but they reached their target when Marco Jansen hit the first ball of the final 

over for six.

Man of the match Tabraiz Shamsi took 3-27 after South Africa won the toss and restricted the West Indies to 135-8 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. All-rounder Chase top scored with 52, featuring in an 81-run third-wicket partnership with Kyle Mayers (35 off 34 balls) before giving the West Indies hope by taking 3-12 with his off-spin.

Jansen’s unbeaten 21 saw the Proteas to victory at 124-7 when he smashed the final six off Obed McCoy.

“The last time I played here I went for 50 runs and there was a lot of chatter going around,” said Shamsi.

“I was happy to come back and perform my role, but credit as well to the guys who bowled before me because they set it up beautifully.” With the score on 117-6, Nortje made amends for his earlier error with a direct hit to run out the dangerous Andre Russell who had hit two sixes in his 15 off nine balls.

“This is one batting performance we will try our best to forget,” said West Indies captain Rovman Powell.

“It was a commendable bowling effort by us. We said at the halfway mark that we were going to give it our all and the guys really gave everything to defend that total.”

South Africa join England as the semi-final qualifiers from Super Eight Group 2. Defending champion England crushed the United States by 10 wickets with 62 balls remaining in their last Super Eight game.

Fast bowler Chris Jordan got a hat trick and the American cricket team lost five wickets in six balls as England secured its spot in the knockout stages.

Jordan, who replaced pacer Mark Wood, grabbed four wickets off five balls in his last over to dismantle the U.S. for 115 runs in 18.5 overs and become the first Englishman to claim a hat trick in T20 internationals. He finished with 4-10 in 2.5 overs on the Caribbean island of Barbados where 

he was born. “Very nice to do this at a special place like this,” Jordan said.

Captain Jos Buttler then smashed 83 not out off 38 balls, including five sixes in one over against left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh, as England raced to 117-0 in 9.4 overs. “I thought if we could bring our intensity, we’d be too good,” Buttler said. England started its innings knowing that it needed to surpass South Africa’s net run-rate by chasing the target in 18.4 overs but finished the chase in less than 10 overs.

England squeezed the Americans in the middle overs through impeccable leg spin from man-of-the-match Adil Rashid (2-13 in four overs) as Liam Livingstone (1-24) also bowled well after Buttler won the toss and elected to field.

Jordan is the second bowler at this World Cup after Pat Cummins to record a hat trick. The Australian fast bowler took back-to-back hat tricks against Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The Americans’ fairy-tale World Cup debut, which included a historic victory against heavyweight Pakistan earlier in the tournament, ended with three straight Super Eight losses. (AFP)

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