Afghanistan all out for 56 against South Africa in semi-final

South Africa’s players celebrate after the dismissal of Afghanistan’s Ibrahim Zadran (L) during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 semi-final cricket match between South Africa and Afghanistan at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Trinidad and Tobago, on 26 June, 2024AFP

Afghanistan’s dreams of reaching the T20 World Cup final were left in tatters after they were skittled for just 56 in 11.5 overs by South Africa in their semi-final in Trinidad on Wednesday.

Sangling South Africa pacer Marco Jansen and left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi took three wickets each while fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje maintained the relentless pressure with two wickets apiece.

Only Azmatullah Omarzai (10) got into double-figures for the Afghans while their highest contribution to the paltry total were 13 extras.

The batting collapse marked a thoroughly deflating effort for Afghanistan following the pulsating drama of Monday when they pipped Bangladesh in St Vincent to reach the last four.

Throughout this dream run to their first semi-final of a senior men’s world tournament, Afghanistan have been reliant on openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran to give them a solid platform and at the same time mask the frailties of the rest of the batting line-up.

But when Jansen had Gurbaz taken at slip by Reeza Hendricks in the first over of the match, the worst fears of the Afghans and their growing mass of supporters in the Caribbean were realised as the Proteas mercilessly exploited their opponents’ technical deficiencies.