South Africa choke again as Pakistan cruise to T20 Final
s South Africa blew their World Twenty20 chances - but skipper Graeme Smith refused to accept his team had choked on the big stage again. Smith rejected the theory South Africa had lost their nerve as an inspir
ed Shahid Afridi led Pakistan into Sundays final. Every time we lose an important game, that word, chokers, is thrown around, Smith said after the seven-run loss at Trent Bridge last night. But we ha
ve played great cricket and I am proud of the way the guys have performed. During the last couple of years we have been on an upward curve and the team will improve and get stronger and stronger. Pakistan skipper Younus Khan admitted winning the tournament would provide a massive lift for his trouble-torn country and its passionate cricket supporters. Afridis man-of-the match heroics - a rapid 51 off 33 balls with eight boundaries and then 2-16 in hi
s four-over bowling spell - was the main reason Pakistan will now face the winners of todays second semi-final between West Indies a
nd Sri Lanka. Pakistan is banned from hosting any international matches after the recent terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan teams coach in Lahore. Younus sa
id: We know it will give a big lift to everyone back home if we can win this competition. This World Cup is everything to us. We are suffering from everything in Pakistan and everyone knows about all the fighting, a lot of fighting.
If we can lift the cup, it will provide great cheer for th
e people. Pakistan have gradually improved since their early reversal against England at The Oval and were able to successfully defend their total of 149-4 against the Proteas. Younus added: In Twenty20 cricket it is all about things coming together at the right time. I have match winners I can call upon like Afridi and Umar Gul who is improving every day. We have been slow starters in this competition but suddenly we are in the final. I felt we were 15 to 20 runs short
tonight and South Africa are capable of chasing 200 but we responded well. But Jacques Kallis 64 proved to be in va
in for Smiths men.