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T20 World Cup 2024 Semi-Final: South Africa vs Afghanistan Best Bets

The 2024 T20 World Cup has narrowed down from sixteen teams to just four, with South Africa and Afghanistan set to face off in the first semi-final on Thursday morning.

South Africa

The 2024 T20 World Cup has narrowed down from sixteen teams to just four, with South Africa and Afghanistan set to face off in the first semi-final on Thursday morning. This crucial match will be held at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, with the victor advancing to the grand final to compete against either India or England. The stakes are high as both teams aim to secure a spot in the ultimate showdown of the tournament.

Venue: Sir Vivian Richards Stadium

Betting Preview

South Africa has been one of the most consistent teams in this tournament, winning all seven of their games, including a victory over semi-finalists England. However, the Proteas face a familiar challenge: advancing past the semi-final stage, a feat they have failed to achieve in seven previous World Cup attempts. Their closest attempt was in the 1999 ODI World Cup, where they were eliminated by Australia in a tiebreaker after a dramatic tie.

Batting on the challenging New York pitches, South Africa managed an average score of 127.86 runs per inning, with their highest chasing score being 124/7 against the West Indies. However, upon moving to the West Indies, their batting flourished with scores of 194 and 163, comfortably overcoming the USA and England. Quinton de Kock was pivotal in these matches, scoring 74 and 65 to lift his tournament average.

South Africa’s bowling has been their strength, with five bowlers averaging under 20 wickets, except for captain Aiden Markram and Marco Jansen.

Afghanistan, often considered the underdogs, have made an impressive journey to the semi-finals. Their rise in cricket, despite the turmoil at home, is commendable. Afghanistan’s bowlers have been outstanding, leading the tournament with 63 wickets at an average of just 13.63 runs per wicket. Gulbadin Naib and Fazalhaq Farooqi have been particularly effective, with Farooqi being the leading wicket-taker with 16 wickets.

Afghanistan narrowly secured their semi-final spot with a dramatic win over Bangladesh. They defended a modest total of 115, with Rashid Khan and Naveen-ul-Haq playing crucial roles in an eight-run DLS win. Injuries to key players like Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Gulbadin Naib add to their challenges, but the team remains focused on their World Cup dream.

Despite not being at their absolute best, South Africa’s unbeaten record is difficult to overlook, and we feel the Proteas will be able to shed their semi-final curse by finally reaching a World Cup final this year.

Players to Watch: Heinrich Klaasen has struggled in this tournament passing 30 just twice. He has had a great 2024 in franchise T20 cricket, averaging more than 40 and striking at 11rpo. He should take confidence into this match knowing he has 107 runs from 50 balls with only two dismissals against Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz has been one of the best players at the tournament, with 281 runs and four opening partnerships of more than 50 runs. Gurbaz has also top-scored for Afghanistan on four different occasions in this tournament. He may want to avoid Marco Jansen, though, who dismissed Gurbaz from the only ball he’s bowled to him in T20s.

Prediction: South Africa to win at 1.32.

Key Stats

The average first innings score from eight matches at this ground is only 138.

South Africa won both previous head-to-head matches, but these sides last played each other in 2016.

Quinton de Kock averages just 26 while striking at 121 against right-arm leg spin.

Rashid Khan has now captained his country in 25 T20Is, winning 15.

Mohammad Nabi has now beaten 45 different nations in T20 cricket (including Barbados and T&T).

Tabraiz Shamsi has taken a wicket in each of his last seven T20Is.

South Africa won four of five matches when batting first in 2024.

Best Bets

Best Bet: Individual score to be under 60.5 at 1.86.

Value Bet: Heinrich Klaasen to be South Africa’s top batter at 7.00.

Tims is a CSA accreditated freelance cricket writer who also does cricket commentary for Guerilla Cricket SA and founder of the Full Quota Podcast.

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