South Africa Clinch Thriller, Knock Nepal Out of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

In a nail-biting finish, South Africa maintained their unbeaten status in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup by defeating Nepal by one run, eliminating the Asian side from Super Eights contention in St Vincent on Friday.

Heinrich Klaasen’s last-ball run out of Gulsan Jha secured South Africa’s dramatic victory, just as the match seemed headed for a Super Over.

Nepal required two runs from the final delivery to keep their Super Eights hopes alive. Despite dominating much of the contest, Nepal fell short in a heart-wrenching conclusion.

Nepal appeared to be cruising at 85/2 in the 14th over but faltered under pressure, needing eight runs from the last over. Gulsan Jha’s boundary on the third ball gave hope, but Klaasen’s calmness under pressure sealed South Africa’s win, denying Nepal their first-ever international victory over a full ICC member.

Nepal’s chase was driven by opener Aasif Shaikh, who scored 42 runs off 49 balls, including 4 fours and 1 six. Anil Sah contributed 27 runs off 24 balls, with 3 fours and 1 six. Shaikh and Sah’s crucial partnership of 50 runs in 36 balls for the third wicket kept Nepal in the hunt. However, other key batsmen failed to deliver: Kushal Bhurtel scored 13 from 21 deliveries, Rohit Paudel was out for a duck, Dipendra Singh Airee managed 6 runs from 11 balls, Kushal Malla scored 1 from 3 balls, Gulsan Jha added 6 from 6 balls, and Sompal Kami remained not out with 8 runs from 4 balls, including 1 six.

South Africa’s batting was subpar, with Reeza Hendricks (43) and Tristan Stubbs (27* off 18) the only notable contributors. The Proteas struggled against Nepal’s spinners but turned the game around through Tabraiz Shamsi’s impressive spell (4/19). Pace bowlers Anrich Nortje (1/27) and Ottneil Baartman (0/20) kept their composure in the final overs.

Nepal spinners had restricted South Africa to 115/7, with Kushal Bhurtel (4/19) and Dipendra Singh Airee (3/21) leading the charge.

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