‘I was supporting Nepal. They deserved to win’: Dale Steyn after South Africa win ‘the match T20 World Cup 2024’ | Crickit

‘I was supporting Nepal. They deserved to win’: Dale Steyn after South Africa win ‘the match T20 World Cup 2024’

Jun 15, 2024 06:39 PM IST

Dale Steyn said he was rooting for Nepal in the T20 World Cup match against South Africa. The Proteas edged out Nepal in a last-ball thriller.

Nepal's performance was so good that part of South African legend Dale Steyn wanted them to win the T20 World Cup Group D match against his nation in Kingstown on Saturday. For the better part of the match, it seemed like Nepal would do exactly that, but a brilliant performance from Tabraiz Shamsi and some nerves from Nepal's lower order prevented them from creating history. South Africa emerged victorious by one run in a nail-biting last-ball thriller, breaking the hearts of the Nepal cricketers and their passionate fans present at the stadium and those watching at home.

Dale Steyn(Getty Images via AFP)
Dale Steyn(Getty Images via AFP)

Steyn called it the "match of the tournament". "It was incredible to watch. I think the match of the tournament. I'm a big underdog fan, so even being a South African, I was kind of like, come on, Nepal. You know you were supporting them," Steyn told ICC after the match.

The former South African fast bowler said it would have been the moment of the World Cup if Nepal had managed to get the better of South Africa.

"These nail-biting thrillers... I saw people crying in the stands. It shows how much it means to people and I think that's what cricket is all about not the 200s but this. This is what the game is about. I think it would have been the talk of the town. It would have been the talk of the tournament if Nepal had gotten over the line. It would have been fantastic. They almost deserved to win," he said.

Nepal needed two runs from the last ball of the match to win, one run to match South Africa’s modest total of 115-7 and force a Super Over. But teenager Ghulsan Jha was run out at the non-striker’s end attempting a single from the final ball and South Africa held on to win a thrilling match.

The Nepal players were disconsolate. They seemed to be headed for Nepal’s first win in 12 attempts against an ICC full-member nation when they needed 22 runs from the last 24 balls.

They needed 18 runs from 18 balls but lost three wickets for one run within six balls, including two wickets to spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, and the equation changed.

Gulshan was unable to score from the first two balls of the last over, bowled by Ottneil Baartman. He then slashed a four through the off side and Nepal needed four runs from three balls.Gulshan ran two with Sompal Kami and Nepal needed 2 from two balls.

The fifth ball was a dot ball — no runs were scored — and Gulshan was run out next ball to end the match.

“We were very close and yet so far,” Nepal captain Rohit Paudel said. “I think in crunch moments we did well and the way we fought was very good. If we can play top teams more regularly then next time we will be on the winning side."

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