Fact check: Is Aiden Markram the first captain to lead South Africa to the T20 World Cup final?

South Africa crushed Afghanistan in the semi-final of the 2024 T20 World Cup, winning by as many as 9 wickets. Their bowling attack broke Afghanistan’s batting order and dismissed them for just 56 runs – the lowest ever score for Afghanistan in a T20 match.

This makes for a historic first World Cup final for South Africa. Despite losing an early wicket, the South African batters chased down the small target comfortably, reaching it in just 9 overs.

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While reports of Aiden Markram becoming the first South African captain to lead his team to a World Cup final have been doing the rounds since their upset victory over Afghanistan in the semi-finals, is he really the first captain to do so?

Is Aiden Markram the first captain to lead South Africa to the T20 World Cup final?

Technically speaking, considering the South African international team as a whole, including the women’s team, it wasn’t Aiden Markram who did it. It was Sune Luus, former captain of the South African women’s team, who led her team to its first World Cup final in the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup.

What happened in the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final between South Africa and England?

South Africa Women recorded a historic victory over England Women in the game. Tazmin Brits and Laura Wolvaardt’s opening stand of 96 points, with the Brits scoring 68 and Wolvaardt 53, helped bring the total to 4 from 164.

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Ayabonga Khaka and Shabnim Ismail then took seven wickets between them, while the British also took four crucial catches. This helped South African women restrict England women to 158 for 8 and win by six runs in front of a jubilant home crowd.

However, South Africa Women’s World Cup journey was cut short by Australia Women in the final. Australia Women batted first and set the target of 157 runs. In reply, South Africa Women could only score 137 points and lost by 19 points in the final.

What’s next for South Africa?

Shifting our focus back to the South African men’s team, they will face either England or India in the 2024 T20 World Cup Final on Saturday, June 29. They are coming in very strong with an undefeated record in the current World Cup. It will be interesting to see if they can keep the same momentum going into the finals as well.