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South Africa clinches nail-biting one-run victory over Nepal

South Africa clinches nail-biting one-run victory over Nepal


, Saturday, 15 June 2024 (15:06 IST)
In a heart-stopping finish, Nepal came agonisingly close to a historic victory, falling just one run short as South Africa edged them out in a thrilling T20 World Cup encounter.

South Africa's triumph was orchestrated by Tabraiz Shamsi's crucial double-wicket over and Ottneil Baartman's composed final deliveries, complemented by a stroke of luck on the very last ball.

Chasing a modest target of 115 set by South Africa, Nepal seemed poised for a win with 18 runs needed from the last 18 balls, thanks to the steady batting of 23-year-old Aasif Sheikh. However, Shamsi shifted the momentum by claiming two vital wickets in a single over, leaving Nepal's lower order with 16 runs to chase from the final 12 balls.

Sompal Kami and Gulshan Jha nearly steered Nepal to victory, needing just 2 runs off the last 2 balls. Baartman bowled two short deliveries that Jha couldn't connect with. On the final ball, a ricochet off Jha led to a run-out, leaving Nepal just one run short and bringing their T20 World Cup campaign to a heartbreaking end.

South Africa's innings began slowly, with the team scoring 38/1 in the first six overs and losing Quinton de Kock early. The Nepalese spinners, led by Sandeep Lamichhane, further restricted South Africa to 42/2 during the middle phase.

Despite these challenges, South Africa managed 35 runs in the final overs, finishing at 115/7, with Reeza Hendricks top-scoring with 43. Kushal Bhurtel and Dipendra Singh were standout bowlers for Nepal, taking 4/19 and 3/21 respectively.

Nepal's chase started cautiously, scoring 32/0 in the first six overs without losing any wickets. Aasif and Anil Sah's partnership kept Nepal in contention, bringing the score to 82/2 after 13 overs.

Despite their determined effort, Nepal's lower order struggled to maintain the scoring rate. Shamsi's double-wicket over and Baartman's tight final deliveries ensured South Africa's narrow victory.

Shamsi was the key performer for South Africa, taking 4 wickets for 19 runs, while Hendricks contributed 43 runs. For Nepal, Aasif top-scored with 42 runs, while Kushal Bhurtel and Dipendra Singh excelled with the ball.

South Africa will now head to Antigua to face co-hosts USA on June 19 in the Super-8s. Nepal will have one last opportunity to secure a win in the World Cup when they play against Bangladesh on June 17.(UNI)

Brief Scores

South Africa: 115/7 in 20 overs (Reeza Hendricks 43; Kushal Bhurtel 4-19, Dipendra Singh 3-21)

Nepal: 114/7 in 20 overs (Aasif Sheikh 42; Tabraiz Shamsi 4-19)

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