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T20 World Cup semi-final pitch branded ‘Horrific’ and ‘Uneven Contest’

T20 World Cup semi-final pitch branded ‘Horrific’ and ‘Uneven Contest’

While South Africa emerged victorious, the uneven conditions undeniably impacted the quality of the match and potentially disadvantaged Afghanistan.

The pitch used for the T20 World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Afghanistan in Trinidad has come under heavy criticism, with pundits labelling it “awful,” “ugly,” and an “actual shambles.”

Batter’s Nightmare: T20 WC semi-final pitch

Afghanistan, batting first at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, were dismissed for a mere 56 runs – the lowest total ever recorded in a T20 World Cup semi-final. While South Africa chased down the target comfortably, their victory was overshadowed by the unpredictable and uneven bounce of the pitch.

Former England cricketer Steven Finn on ‘Test Match Special‘ described the surface as “ugly,” unfit for a T20 match and more suited to the final day of a Test match.

Unfair advantage for bowlers

England’s World Cup winner Alex Hartley echoed these concerns, highlighting the lack of a fair contest. The pitch heavily favored bowlers, with a significant amount of lateral swing and inconsistent bounce.

Cricviz data revealed that this venue offered the most swing and seam for pace bowlers across the entire tournament. Hartley emphasized her desire for a balanced contest where both teams have a fair shot with the bat and ball, calling the pitch “horrific.”

South Africa overcomes challenges

Despite the challenging batting conditions, South Africa managed to secure victory. Their captain, Aiden Markram, acknowledged the “tough” pitch but expressed his team’s excitement about reaching their first-ever World Cup final. They remain focused on the upcoming challenge and determined to seize this historic opportunity.

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Questions for future

The controversy surrounding the pitch raises questions about pitch preparation for major tournaments. While South Africa emerged victorious, the uneven conditions undeniably impacted the quality of the match and potentially disadvantaged Afghanistan.

This incident will likely spark discussions about ensuring fairness and producing pitches conducive to exciting and balanced T20 cricket.

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