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South Africa in a World Cup final? Aiden Markram and Kagiso Rabada have been here before

South Africa might be in uncharted territory when they take on serial contenders India in the T20 World Cup final in Barbados on Saturday.

Famously, the Proteas tend to find creative ways to stumble when the finale to major competitions is in sight.

Their thrashing of Afghanistan in Trinidad was the first time they have won in eight semi-finals in either of cricket’s World Cups.

There has been the indignity of Allan Donald mishearing Lance Klusener, Shaun Pollock misreading Duckworth-Lewis calculations, and Herschelle Gibbs dropping the World Cup altogether.

But not everyone in South African men’s cricket is weighed down by the past. In fact, two players in their starting XI for the final know what it takes to be a winner in a World Cup final.

“Knowing we are world champions is a special feeling and a blessed honour as well,” Aiden Markram said, speaking in the bowels of Dubai International Stadium back in 2014.

“I felt it was inevitable that it was eventually going to happen. We are just the lucky ones to be sitting here. I’m glad we could have done it for our country.”

Back then, the young South Africans had just trounced Pakistan to win the Under 19 World Cup, which had been staged in the UAE.

Markram himself was at the crease when victory was sealed and his team became pioneering world champs for their country. His ascent to senior international cricket was not entirely smooth, but one of his teammates went straight to the top level of the men’s game and has stayed there the whole time since.

It was clear to anyone who saw that tournament in the Emirates 10 years ago that Kagiso Rabada was destined for a fine career as a fast bowler.

He fired South Africa through to the final with a spell of quick bowling that