South Africa breaks Nepalese hearts with one run win
Gulshan Jha is a dejected figure following his runout off the last ball of the match while Sompal Kami stands
June 15, 2024

South Africa breaks Nepalese hearts with one run win

On a wicket which offered assistance to spin, pace, and the bat, South Africa broke Nepalese hearts with a one-run win off the very last ball in their 2024 ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup Group D clash at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground on Friday night before a near capacity crowd.

South Africa never got going and stuttered along to reach 115 for 7 off their 20 overs after Nepal won the toss and invited them to take first knock in the first ever meeting between the two nations. Reeza Hendricks made 43, Tristan Stubbs 27 not out, with the damage with the ball done by Kushal Bhurtel who took 4 for 19, and Dipendra Singh Airee 3 for 21 as the pair took all seven South African wickets to fall.

Kushal Bhurtel flicks one to fine leg during his stay at the crease (photo by Robertson S. Henry)

Then came the drama as the South African quick bowlers exploited the pitch conditions, but the Nepal batsmen utilized a cautious approach and at the end of the power play were 32 without loss. But the introduction of left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, who in just his first over bowled both Bhurtel (1 for 35), and Rohit Paudel (2 for 35), to bring South Africa back into the game.

Shamsi was brought back into the attack in the 18th over, had Dipendra Airee caught down the leg-side by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock off the third ball, and then bowled Aasif Sheikh to leave Nepal needing 16 of the final 12 legal deliveries.

Anrich Nortje bowled the 19th over with genuine pace, in which he removed Kushal Malla’s middle stump, forcing the officials to replace the damaged middle stump. Sompal Kami then pulled the last ball of the over, sending the missile sailing over the President’s Suite in a monstrous hit of 105 metres, leaving 8 needed off the final over for a historic Nepal victory. A boundary and then 2 off the final over bowled by Baartman, left them with 2 needed off the final delivery.

One of the groups of Nepalese fans in joyous mood (Robertson S. Henry)

The pair of Gulshan Jha and Sompal Kami scampered a desperate run off a bye off the final ball which would have resulted in a Super Over had they succeeded. However the ball deflected off Jha, it was picked up by Heinrich Klaasen lurking at short mid-off, who flicked the ball unto the stumps at the non-striker’s end; finding Jha was inches short of his ground. He was run out and Nepal were out of Super-8 contention.