KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistanis rejoiced Friday as their cricket team beat South Africa and booked a place in the World Twenty20 final, bringing rare joy in a nation used to sombre news of bomb blasts and Taliban violence. "We are delighted," Zaboor Khan, an electrician, told a private tv from outside the home of squad captain Younus Khan in Mardan town. "Just a week ago we lost so many people in a bomb blast in Peshawar and we were not watching matches. But this win has given us a new joy - we needed this in a state of despair." Foreign teams were already nervous about touring the South Asian nation, and then in March this year gunmen launched a fierce attack on the visiting Sri Lankan team as they travelled to a match in the eastern city Lahore. Younus himself said last week: "We have no international cricket so if we reach the semi-final or win the tournament, the nation will stand up for us. I need a cup for people of Pakistan." Pakistan, who finished runners-up to India in the inaugural World Twenty20 two years ago, upstaged South Africa by seven runs in a gripping semi-final at Trent Bridge, with Shahid Afridi sparkling with both bat and ball. Afridi hit an aggressive 51 from 34 balls and then grabbed 2-16 with his leg-spin as Pakistan successfully defended 149-4 to restrict the Proteas to 142-5 - leaving millions of fans in a frenzy late into the night.Pakistan will on Sunday meet the winners of Friday's second semi-final between Sri Lanka and the West Indies. Convincing teams to return to Pakistan when Taliban-linked bomb blasts and other attacks appear to be rising will be no easy task, however. Earlier this year, India refused permission for their team to tour Pakistan after the attacks last year in Mumbai strained relations between the countries. As if the isolation was not enough, Pakistan cricket has been regularly hit by controversies over doping, sackings and discipline problems. Two of Pakistan's frontline paceman - Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif - tested positive for banned steroids in 2006. Akhtar was banned for two years and Asif for one year, although the bans were overturned on appeal. Pakistan sacked their Australian coach Geoff Lawson last October soon after a change in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) set up. Last week, Pakistan's chairman of selectors Abdul Qadir resigned, citing interference in his work from the PCB, captain Younus and coach Intikhab Alam. But despite the controversies, cricket fans remain in a celebratory mood. "Pakistan's win over South Africa has changed despair into joy," said accountant Kashif Ahmed, who stayed up all night in his office in the southern port city Karachi to watch the match.