West Indies in Semi-Finals, South Africa Face Exit


West Indies secured their spot in the World T20 2016 semi-finals with a third successive win but made hard work of chasing a small target of 123. With just a shave over a run-a-ball needed, West Indies were routinely dragged back, to a point where they needed 20 off the last two overs. However, a solid start from Johnson Charles, a composed innings from Marlon Samuels and a six from Carlos Brathwaite in the final over saw them sneak over the line.

South Africa’s bowling attack did their best to make up for the blunders of their batsmen, who had slumped to 47 for 5 in the ninth over before eking over 120. Aaron Phangiso, playing in his first international match in five months and the first since remodeling his action last month, and David Wiese both conceded under six runs to the over, but it was Imran Tahir who kept South Africa in the match. The legspinner gave away only 13 runs in four overs and took two wickets off successive deliveries in the 17th over. In the end, it was not enough and South Africa could exit the tournament before playing their final group match. If England beat Sri Lanka on Saturday, South Africa’s campaign will be over.

Unusually for the format, this was a battle of the ball. Batsmen from both sides failed to adjust to the sluggish pace of the pitch but South Africa’s line-up were also caught unawares by a surprise addition to West Indies’ attack. Chris Gayle proved their nemesis in an unexpected way by removing two of South Africa’s top six, and he played his part in pegging them back in the Powerplay, a situation from which they never really recovered.