South Africa skittle Afghanistan to record easy win

2019-06-16 at 06:13

South Africa decimated Afghanistan in Cardiff to chalk up their first win at the World Cup and keep their faint semi-final hopes alive.

The Proteas ran amok once play resumed after the second rain break of the day, with Imran Tahir (4-29) and Andile Phehlukwayo (2-18) causing Afghanistan to tumble from 69-2 to 77-7 before Rashid Khan’s entertaining 35 from 25 deliveries lifted his side to 125 all out.

South Africa – who lost their first three games of the tournament before suffering a washout against West Indies – knocked off their DLS-adjusted target of 127 in 28.4 overs to win by nine wickets, with Quinton de Kock (68) matching his total against England in game one during a 104-run opening partnership with the out-of-sorts Hashim Amla (41no off 83).

Faf du Plessis’ men have moved from ninth to seventh in the table, above Pakistan and Bangladesh, though will probably need to win each of their remaining four group games – against New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Australia – to stand a chance of making the top four.

Afghanistan are yet to score a point and remain rock bottom, with a lack of runs costing them once again as they slumped to a fourth defeat in a row ahead of Tuesday’s meeting with England at Old Trafford.

Gulbadin Naib’s men had battled admirably in the 20 overs before the second rain delay, thanks principally to Hazratullah Zazai (23) and Noor Ali Zadran (32) – Zadran successfully overturning an lbw decision against Phehlukwayo on 30 with UltraEdge confirming he had inside-edged the ball.

Afghanistan were razed upon the restart, though, as they lost five wickets for eight runs, starting when Hashmatullah Shahidi (8) edged Phehlukwayo behind on the drive to Du Plessis in the first over back.

Leg-spinner Tahir then struck twice in the following over, bowling Noor Ali through the gate with a delicious googly and then catching Asghar Afghan (0), who was playing his first match of the tournament, off his own bowling.

Mohammad Nabi (1) chopped Phehlukwayo onto his stumps before Gulbadin (5) pulled a long-hop from Tahir to midwicket where Aiden Markeam took a superb catch above his head.

Rashid provided some late pyrotechnics, smashing six fours in his blistering cameo before he was caught on the deep midwicket boundary off Tahir to become ninth man out – Chris Morris (3-13) ousted Ikram Khil (9) and Hamid Hassan (0) as Afghanistan lasted just 34.1 of their revised 48 overs.

De Kock and Amla started the chase slowly but the former became more expensive, sealing his 23rd ODI fifty from 58 balls by blazing a leg-side boundary off Rashid, only to then pick out midwicket, allowing Phehlukwayo (17no off 17 balls) to biff two late fours and the match-winning six.

South Africa will now look for back-to-back victories when they meet unbeaten New Zealand at Edgbaston on Wednesday.