South Africa narrowly escaped a significant upset by Nepal, securing a heart-stopping one-run win in their last Group D encounter of the T20 World Cup at the Arnos Vale Stadium in St Vincent on Friday. Chasing a modest score of 116 for a surprising victory, Nepal fell just short at 114 for seven, with Gulshan Jha being run out on the last ball while trying to tie the game with Ottneil Baartman, thus avoiding a super over.

A relieved South Africa captain, Aiden Markram, commented post-match, 'We are very thankful for the win, as we were far from our best tonight. Looking back, there will be many lessons for us to take away.' He added, 'Nepal's bowling was challenging, putting us under immense pressure.'

Leg-break bowler Kushal Bhurtel (4 for 19) and off-spinner Dipendra Singh Airee (3 for 21) restricted South Africa to 115 for seven in their innings. Aasif Sheikh's 42 and Anil Sah's 27 led a crucial 50-run third-wicket partnership, bringing Nepal close to a result that would have kept their Super Eight hopes alive. Sheikh, dropped early by Kagiso Rabada, survived initial threats but fell to Tabraiz Shamsi in the 18th over, who finished with impressive figures of four for 19. Anrich Nortje's dismissal of Kushal Malla in the 19th over swung the match back towards South Africa, who barely clung to victory amidst intense pressure.

Sandeep Lamichhane, absent from the first two games due to visa issues, did not take a wicket but his presence boosted the team. Captain Rohit Paudel's decision to field first after winning the toss seemed to work in Nepal's favor. Despite already securing a Super Eight spot and aiming for a fourth consecutive win, South Africa's top order struggled against the bowling. Reeza Hendricks' 43 off 49 balls provided some stability, but it was Tristan Stubbs' unbeaten 27 off 18 balls that caused Nepal some worry before Bhurtel dismissed Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabada off consecutive balls.

Nepal captain Paudel expressed pride in his team's performance, stating, 'I am very proud of our unit, especially our bowling and batting. We fought well. With more exposure to such games, we will be on the winning side.'