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31st Match, Group D (N), Kingstown, June 14, 2024, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(20 ov, T:116) 114/7

South Africa won by 1 run

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
116.07 ptsImpact List

Heartbreak for Nepal as Shamsi scripts stunning turnaround

Baartman successfully defended seven runs in the 20th over to give SA a stirring come-from-behind win

South Africa 115 for 7 (Hendricks 43, Stubbs 27*, Bhurtel 4-19, Airee 3-21) beat Nepal 114 for 7 (Aasif 42, Sah 27, Shamsi 4-19) by one run
It was heartbreak for Nepal and their fans in Kingstown, as they fell short by only one run against South Africa in a nail-biting encounter.
Fans and players alike were in tears since the result also eliminated Nepal from Super Eight contention at the T20 World Cup 2024. South Africa made a clean sweep of the group stage with four wins in four, riding on Tabraiz Shamsi's 4 for 19 that dragged them back with a stunning 18th over.
But for so very long, the game seemed Nepal's to lose. Their spinners had spun a web to limit South Africa to a subpar 115 for 7 - even on a difficult, turning track - and then with the bat had brought the equation down to 25 needed off 30 balls, with seven wickets in hand.
Shamsi though, in for Keshav Maharaj, turned the game with a double-wicket 18th over, including that of the set Aasif Sheikh (42 off 49). The dots that followed raised the required rate, but two powerful late strikes from Sompal Kami and 18-year-old Gulsan Jha took the game down to two off two balls. But Ottneil Baartman bowled two dots as Nepal failed to get bat on the ball both times, and a desperate attempt at a last-gasp run left them inches short in the end.

SA's overly cautious start

Possibly scarred by their earlier outings in the tournament, South Africa began the game a touch too cautiously, and in the process batted conservatively when conditions for batting were at their best.
While their 38 for 1 in the powerplay was their best of the tournament, South Africa were guilty of waiting for loose deliveries instead of putting the bowlers off their lines early on. Nepal for their part, rarely strayed in their lines and lengths and once the spinners took hold, they never looked back.

Nepal spinners make SA crumble

Sandeep Lamichhane's first delivery spat 6.2 degrees as it gripped and turned past Reeza Hendricks' defence, and that set the tone as South Africa rarely looked comfortable against the turning ball from that point on. While Lamichhane would end wicketless, his probing spell went for just 18 runs in his first outing of the tournament in Nepal's first game outside the USA. But in Dipendra Singh Airee (3 for 21) and Kushal Bhurtel (4 for 19), Nepal had enough overs of spin to exploit the conditions, with the pair accounting for all seven South African wickets.
South Africa did their best to negotiate the conditions with a steady approach, but despite run-a-ball stands of 22 and 46 for the first two wickets, they struggled to up their gears. Only Tristan Stubbs, who scored 27 in 18 balls from No. 8, scored at a strike rate of over 100.
In all, Nepal bowled spin for 14 overs, including the final over of the innings. There Bhurtel grabbed two wickets for nine runs, and Nepal had conceded only 58 runs in the back end for six wickets, after conceding only 57 in the first ten.

Sah, Aasif steady the chase

Nepal were provided an early reprieve when Kagiso Rabada dropped a catch. After that, Nepal opted for risk-free cricket as they lumbered to 32 at the end of the powerplay without losing a wicket. With spin playing such a pivotal role though, Shamsi's introduction was always going to prove critical in the game and so it proved.
In just his first over he disturbed the stumps of both Bhurtel and Rohit Paudel to bring South Africa roaring back into the game. After seeing out Shamsi's next over, both Aasif and Anil Sah sought to rebuild. Sah was the first to raise the ante as a pair of boundaries off Anrich Nortje boosted their rate, before a six off Shamsi brought about genuine belief of a win. Sheikh joined in an over later taking Rabada for six and four, with the pair reaching their fifty partnership off just 36 deliveries.

Shamsi's 18th-over heist

With just one frontline spinner in the XI, South Africa knew they'd have to time Shamsi's reintroduction perfectly. Aiden Markram, with his part-time offbreaks, had ended the Sah-Sheikh stand, but Airee was determined to stick in with the set Sheikh.
But enter Shamsi. His third delivery of the 18th turned down the leg side, but Airee's attempted pull got a feather touch to Quinton de Kock. So light was the touch that Airee reviewed thinking he hadn't touched it. Shamsi then grabbed the big fish off his final delivery, ripping one through Aasif's bat and pad to clatter into the stumps. By the time he was done, Nepal needed 16 off 12.

Baartman holds his nerve

Shamsi's over was backed up by Nortje, who bowled four consecutive dots to start the penultimate over - including one which took off the top of Kushal Malla's middle stump. That left Nepal needing 16 off eight, with them needing at least one big hit before it got too late.
Kami then unleashed a monstrous 105-metre pull that sent the ball sailing out of the stands to bring the equation down to eight off the final over. When the teenager Jha found a boundary over cover to make it four runs off three balls, the Nepal fans stood up, with their phones out, to capture a potentially historic moment.
A hard-run two off the next delivery showed that Nepal understood the brief precisely, but a pair of expertly executed slower bouncers by Baartman off the final two deliveries proved too good to get away.
A desperate run off a bye off the final ball might have led to a Super Over, but as the ball deflected off Jha, it was picked up by Heinrich Klaasen lurking near the stumps and he flicked to the non-striker's end. Jha was short and Nepal were out.

Win Probability
SA 100%
100%50%100%SA InningsNEP Innings

Over 20 • NEP 114/7

Gulsan Jha run out (†de Kock/Klaasen) 6 (6b 1x4 0x6 13m) SR: 100
South Africa won by 1 run
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