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T20 World Cup 2024: Semi-final 1 (South Africa vs Afghanistan) – 3 Player Battles To Watch Out For
By CricShots - Jun 26, 2024 6:34 pm
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The stage is set for a thrilling encounter at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad, as South Africa and Afghanistan lock horns in the first semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2024. This match holds immense significance for both teams – for South Africa, it’s a chance to shed the “chokers” tag and finally reach a World Cup final. For Afghanistan, it’s their maiden foray into the semi-finals, a testament to their remarkable journey in the tournament.

Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock

South Africa enters the contest as the favourites, boasting a higher ranking and a squad brimming with T20 experience. However, their path to the semi-finals hasn’t been entirely smooth, with some close calls raising questions about their ability to handle pressure. Afghanistan, on the other hand, has surprised everyone, pulling off stunning victories against New Zealand and Australia.

Their explosive openers, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, have been in scintillating form, leading the tournament’s run-scoring charts as a pair. However, their middle order remains relatively untested, a chink in their armour that South Africa will undoubtedly try to exploit.

ALSO READ: Semi-final 1 (South Africa vs Afghanistan) – Probable XI and Fantasy XI

This semi-final promises to be a captivating clash between experience and youthful exuberance. South Africa, with their well-oiled batting line-up and potent pace attack, will be the favourites. But Afghanistan’s fighting spirit and recent giant-slaying performances should not be underestimated. The outcome of this contest will likely hinge on a series of captivating individual battles on the field. Here’s a closer look at some key match-ups:

#1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz vs Kagiso Rabada

Rahmanullah Gurbaz
Rahmanullah Gurbaz 

Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the tournament’s leading run-scorer, holds the key to Afghanistan’s early onslaught. South Africa’s pace spearhead, Kagiso Rabada, presents a significant threat with his ability to swing the new ball and disrupt Gurbaz’s rhythm. Rabada’s potency in the Super 8s, where he picked up crucial wickets, could come into play once again.

#2 Heinrich Klaasen vs Rashid Khan

Heinrich Klaasen
Heinrich Klaasen

While Klaasen hasn’t yet found his rhythm in the tournament, his power-hitting potential remains a threat. His role in handling Afghanistan’s potent spin attack, particularly their captain Rashid Khan, will be critical. Khan has been a whirlwind of wickets, and his battle with Klaasen in the middle overs could be a game-changer. Klaasen’s past dismissals by Khan suggest he’ll need to be particularly cautious against the Afghan spin maestro.

#3 Quinton de Kock vs Naveen-ul-Haq

Naveen ul Haq
Naveen ul Haq

South Africa’s leading run-scorer will be a prime target for Afghanistan. De Kock’s aggressive approach in the powerplay makes his wicket vital. Naveen-ul-Haq, with his recent success against left-handers, poses a significant threat. His sharp pace and effective angles could potentially disrupt de Kock’s rhythm and provide Afghanistan with a crucial early breakthrough.