India and Pakistan have advanced to the T20 World Cup semi-finals after South Africa crashed out in a shock 13-run defeat to the Netherlands on Sunday.
Victory in Adelaide would have secured the Proteas’ place in the final four regardless of other results, but they fell short of their 159 target on a sluggish pitch. That left Pakistan and Bangladesh to compete for a semi-final spot in the day’s second game at the same venue.
Pakistan prevailed by five wickets to complete a dramatic turnaround after losing the first two games in their Super 12s group. India later confirmed top spot with an emphatic victory over Zimbabwe in Melbourne, and will face England in the semi-finals while Pakistan take on Group 1 winners New Zealand.
South Africa’s shock defeat piles the pressure on their white-ball captain, Temba Bavuma, who said he will take time to consider his position in the next few weeks. “It’s been a tricky time,” he said after the game. “Whatever happens, I carry myself with dignity through all the good and bad times. If I were to leave, I would leave with my pride intact.”
The Netherlands amassed 158 for four after being put in to bat first, with Tom Cooper’s quickfire 35 off 19 balls followed by Colin Ackermann’s unbeaten 41 off 26 deliveries. In response, Rilee Rossouw top-scored with 25 off 19 balls as South Africa stumbled to 145 for eight in 20 overs, bringing their campaign to an abrupt halt.
Bavuma was out for 20, taking his tournament tally to just 70 runs in five innings, and accepted the result would only add to South Africa’s reputation for choking in major tournaments. “I think it will always be there until we find ourselves in a situation where we get to a final and we come out on the right side of that result,” he said.
The defeat also signals a sudden end to Mark Boucher’s tenure as South Africa head coach, but he played down suggestions his team lost their nerve. “The more you don’t do well in World Cups, I think it does start playing in your head a bit, but I don’t think that’s been the case of late.
“We’ve played in some tight games in World Cups and actually won them. In the past we’ve tended to lose those games. We were never really in this game here, to be fair. On paper, we should have won the game but the game’s not played on paper, it’s actually played out there in the middle.”
With both sides now directly competing for a semi-final place, Bangladesh won the toss but were restricted to 127 for eight. Shaheen Shah Afridi took four for 22, with Najmul Hossain Shanto’s 54 off 48 balls keeping the Tigers in the hunt. Shakib Al Hasan was out for a duck, the third umpire upholding an lbw call with technology unable to establish whether the Bangladesh captain had got bat to ball.
Openers Babar Azam (25) and Mohammad Rizwan (32) carried Pakistan to 57 without loss just past the halfway mark, but both players endured nervous moments. Mohammad Haris injected some urgency with 31 off 18 and Shan Masood made 24 off 14 balls as Pakistan eased home with 11 balls to spare.
South Africa’s earlier defeat also secured India’s place in the semi-finals, and they made sure of top spot with victory over Zimbabwe. Suryakumar Yadav struck 61 not out with opener KL Rahul adding 51 off 35 balls as India powered to 186 for five at the MCG.
In reply, Zimbabwe lost two wickets and made just three runs in their first two overs, with Wesley Madhevere out for a first-ball duck, caught by Virat Kohli off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Ryan Burl (35) and Sikandar Raza (34) offered resistance but Zimbabwe were eventually bowled out for 115, 72 runs short of their target.
India will now face England in Adelaide on Thursday, with Pakistan playing New Zealand in Wednesday’s semi-final at the SCG.