Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

One more hurdle: Job not yet done for Proteas, says Shamsi

South Africa will face either India or England in the T20 World Cup final.

While they were obviously elated with their historic victory on Thursday morning, spin bowler Tabraiz Shamsi says the Proteas cannot spend much time celebrating as they need to remain focused on the task at hand at the T20 World Cup.

Coasting to a nine-wicket win over Afghanistan with 67 balls to spare in their semifinal in Trinidad, the SA team booked their place in a World Cup final for the first time.

All-rounder Marco Jansen took 3/16, leading the Proteas’ frontline attack, while Shamsi returned 3/6 to help remove the tail as Afghanistan were bowled out for 56 runs.

Marco Jansen
All-rounder Marco Jansen celebrates a wicket with Proteas teammates during the T20 World Cup semifinal against Afghanistan. Picture: Matthew Lewis/ICC/Getty Images

In response, Reeza Hendricks (29 not out) and captain Aiden Markram (23 not out) shared an unbroken 55-run partnership as they reached 60/1 in the ninth over of their innings.

“It’s really a proud moment. Obviously we’ve had great teams in the past, and great players, so we’re really happy with the achievement,” Shamsi said.

“It’s for the whole country and for the players who have played before us. But it’s just another step closer to us achieving the goal we came here to achieve.

“It’s obviously amazing that we’re going to play in the final but we’ve got one more hurdle to overcome.”

Shedding ‘chokers’ tag

Jansen, who was named Player of the Match in the semifinal, hoped the squad had shaken off the ‘chokers’ tag which the national team had carried for decades, after going unbeaten in eight matches in the tournament.

“Going into this final we’re very confident, and we’re just going to give our best, and whatever happens, happens,” Jansen said.

“We all know in a final anything can happen… but in terms of the ‘chokers’ label, I personally think we’ve changed that a little in this World Cup.”

South Africa will face either India or defending champions England in the T20 World Cup final to be played in Barbados on Saturday.

India and England will compete in the other semifinal in Guyana on Thursday afternoon (4.30pm SA time).

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