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Boucher, Kemp and Ntini help SA storm into the Semis

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It is South Africa who have come out as the winners of the virtual Quarter Final against Pakistan at Mohali today to join New Zealand and West Indies as the third Semi-Finalist. Pakistan were bundled out for just 89 in 25 overs in reply to South Africa’s 213 for 8 handing them a massive 124-run victory. It was a seaming wicket all through the match at the PCA Stadium as the curator left plenty of grass on the surface. Makhaya Ntini was the chief tormentor under the lights capturing his fourth five-wicket haul. The wicket was tailor-made for the likes of Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock and others.

South Africa had won the toss and had elected to bat first and the decision looked fine until the first over was gone by which was bowled by Umar Gul. It was a cloudy day at Mohali too that also played its part in helping the ball to dart around, making life tough for the batsmen. The first over saw Graeme Smith and Herschell Gibbs depart. Umar Gul and Rao Iftikhar Anjum had been bowling with a good seam position and the wickets went down in a hurry and the Proteas were down and out at 42 for 5 in the 13th over. The match itself looked to get over by the dinner break as it did not look as if South Africa would get beyond a hundred! But a match-winning partnership between Mark Boucher and Justin Kemp, worth 131 runs got SA into a good looking position and in the end a total of 213 for 8. Mark Boucher top scored with 69 that had come in 98 balls with 7 fours. Justin Kemp who also provided some fireworks in the final overs made 64 from 110 balls which had 4 fours and 2 sixes. Umar Gul was the chief destroyer picking up three for 37 in 8 overs while his new ball partner, Rao Iftikhar took 2 for 26 in 10 overs.

In reply, Pakistan lost wickets in a hurry as the batsmen couldn’t handle the pace and bounce from Makhaya Ntini who finished with 5 for 21 in just 6 overs. Shaun Pollock took a couple of wickets and Charl Langeveldt who was playing his first match of the tournament picked up three wickets. The top scorer for Pak was Yasir Arafat with 27. The only other batsman to get into double figures was Shahid Afridi who got 14. Pakistan at one stage were at 47 for 8 in the 15th over itself and a better figure of 89 all out was thanks to a 30-run partnership between Yasir Arafat and Umar Gul. The Man of the Match award was given for the hostile Makhaya Ntini.

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