As it happened, despite having a win against the hot favorite of this T20 World Cup, England, South Africa couldn’t help themselves secure their place in the semi-final spot.
A partnership of unbroken 103 runs between Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram, steered South Africa to 189 runs for two wickets. Rassie van der Dussen provided 94 runs from 64 deliveries with some magical shots and Markram smashed the English bowlers at a strike of over 200 in his outstanding half-century.
Markram’s half-century was the second-fastest of the tournament after KL Rahul.
South Africa needed to restrict the three lions to 131 runs or fewer in their last match of the super 12 round to improve their net run rate as Australia beat West Indies in the first game of today’s match. Australia also had 8 points but ahead in terms of net run rate.
England started high in their mandatory powerplay but significantly they lost their in-form batsman Jason Roy due to his serious calf injury and being forced to leave the field.
England needed 14 from the final six balls and Kagiso Rabada was back into the attack. He conceded 45 runs for none in his first three overs but came back strongly in his last over of the spell.
Rabada started his final spell with a hat-trick, the first one for South Africa in this WC and also the first one in his T20 career.
Finally, South Africa defended 14 runs and managed to seal a bittersweet 10-run victory to end their tournament on a high. England finished top of Group 1 with Australia in second.
Rassie van der Dussen was named player of the match. He said, “It (the award) doesn’t mean too much in the context, but we knew we had to get a good score. We were asking too much from the bowlers to defend that score in order to get into the semis. At the end of the day, it was a good performance, beating a good side. It’s a type of a wicket, where the new batters needed time to get in, you saw that in their innings when they lost wickets. So Markram and I tried to get in and get a good total. The three venues are so different. The match against Bangladesh, the pitch was different, it was difficult to bat there. Today it kept low, from the batting point of view it has been quite a challenge to adjust to the three venues. The batting units who have adapted the quickest have been the most successful.”