By Rex Clementine

South Africa knocked out co-hosts West Indies to a earn a semi-final spot in the ICC T-20 World Cup Sunday night in Antigua in front of a packed house.

West Indies batting failed to click as they managed only 135 for eight after being put into bat. In a rain curtailed game, South Africa were set a revised target of 123 in 17 overs. They got home after a scare or two with eight balls and three wickets to spare.

Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran, two of West Indies’ in form batters, were back in the pavilion inside seven deliveries. It took a valiant effort from Kyle Mayers (35) Roston Chase (52) to rescue the side from a disappointing start. The two batters were involved in a 81 run stand that came off 65 deliveries.

The middle order failed to show much resistance as chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi ran through with three wickets. His four overs cost South Africa only 27 runs.

Andre Russell smashed a couple of big hits and was threatening to take the game away from South Africa as he had done so often, but he was run out by a brilliant piece of fielding from Anrich Nortje.

Russell responded for a quick single but Nortje from short third man brought down the stumps with a direct hit to break West Indian hearts as the batter was found inches short. That turned out to be a huge turning point in the game.

Russell then claimed two wickets in the second over of the innings including the big scalp of Quinton de Kock to put West Indies back in the hunt.

Tristan Stubbs (29) and Heinrich Klaasen (22) steadied the innings but West Indies kept picking up wickets. Stubbs failed to clear long-on off Roston Chase while Klassen was caught behind after being tested by a Alzarri Joseph short ball.

South Africa needed 13 runs off ten balls and it could have gone either way at that stage. West Indies cracked under pressure and heading into the final over had five runs to defend.

Obed McCoy was entrusted the last over and Marco Jansen didn’t leave it to the last swinging the first ball for a six over long-on to give South Africa a win in another last over thriller. South Africa have been unbeaten in the tournament.

This is South Africa’s first semi-final in T-20 World Cups in ten years having got to the last four in 2014.

Roston Chase had a terrific game with a half-century and three wickets to his name, but his effort wasn’t good enough.