T20 World Cup: 'Fortunate to have lost the toss...', says Markram after SA's win over Afghanistan

by IANS |

 June 27 (IANS) After sealing the Men's T20 World Cup final with a nine-wicket victory over Afghanistan, South Africa skipper Aiden Markram stated that his side was fortunate to lose the toss. He admitted that if he had won the toss, he would have chosen to bat first as well. Asked to bowl first, South Africa hit their straps early by claiming eight wickets inside the first 10 overs of the innings and restricted Afghanistan to a latry total of 56 in 11.5 overs. In response, despite the early wicket of Quinton de Kock (5), claimed by Fazalhaq Farooqi (1/11), Reeza Hendricks (29*) and Aiden Markram (23) extinguished any Afghan threat to chase down the target inside nine overs, sealing their first ever Men's World Cup final. "Feels good. It's not only the captain that gets you here, it is a massive squad effort. Plenty of guys behind the scenes as well. Fortunate to have lost the toss, we would have batted too. We were brilliant with the ball, got it in the right areas and kept it really simple. The bowlers have been incredible for us," said Markram after the match. Markram also paid tribute to the other 14 members of the squad and the fans back home, "It was challenging with the bat, no batter is going to lie and tell you it was easy out there. We had a bit of luck and then got a bit of a partnership. We have had a few close games and a few people back home would have woken up early with more grey hairs. Glad today was a bit more comforting," he said. "It is one more step for us, it is an opportunity we have never had, nothing to be scared of. This win means a lot, we have some world class players in the side but like I said, it takes a whole squad to be able to deliver such a performance," said Markram. Jansen, who was adjudeged the player of the match, hailed the simplicity of the team's gameplan, and also paid tribute to his captain. "For us, it was just sticking to the plan and bowling our best ball. The assessment was the wicket was giving us a few to work with and we just wanted to keep it simple. " He (Markram) is awesome to have as a captain. We'll enjoy tonight and be on our way again," he said. South Africa now await the winner of the second semifinal between India and defending champions England to determine their opponent in the final, scheduled on June 29 in Barbados. Interestingly, with a win in the final, South Africa will become the first-ever unbeaten team to win the T20 World Cup. 

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