After messing up things in the first three matches, South Africa have come back strongly to record a staggering 9-wicket victory over Afghanistan at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. The Proteas bowler pair of Imran Tahir and Chris Morris did a fabulous job with the ball to bundle out the Afghan side for a paltry first innings total. In the second innings, South African openers, Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla played really well to guide their team to an emphatic win.
Tahir and Morris’ excellent spells rattles Afghanistan for 125
After losing the toss and being put in to bat first, the two Afghanistan openers, Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran started things off on a decent note with an opening partnership of 39 runs. However, with the fall of the first wicket in the ninth over in the form of Zazai, the Afghanistan batting once again in this tournament collapsed. They kept on losing wickets on regular basis as from a position at 39 for no loss, they suddenly crumbled to 77 for 7. All the middle-order Afghan batters got dismissed for single-digit scores.
South African bowler duo comprising of Imran Tahir and Chris Morris bowled pretty well to shatter the Afghan middle-order. Rashid Khan played a vital hand with a 25-ball 35 but after his wicket, the inevitable happened and Afghanistan got bowled out for a paltry total of 125 runs in 34.1 overs. For South Africa, Tahir was the pick of the bowlers, claiming four crucial wickets, while Morris picked up three scalps. Andile Phehlukwayo also bowled well to finish with two wickets.
De Kock and Amla take the responsibility of the chase
Due to a slight rain interruption, the final target for South Africa was to get 127 runs in 48 overs. In the response, the two openers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock showed great amount of patience and solid temperament to compensate the new ball spells of the Afghanistan bowlers. They brought up the half-century stand in the 13th over and both of them looked in a solid touch. De Kock played the role of the aggressor in the fabulous 104-run partnership.
He got dismissed in the 23rd over for a fine72-ball 68, however, until then he had already done his job by reducing the chase to mere formalities. The Amla got together with Andile Phehlukwayo to finish off the chase and the duo completed the work in just 28.4 overs. Amla contributed with an uncharacteristic innings of 41 not out off 83 balls, while Phehlukwayo smacked a run-a-ball 17 that included a couple of fours and one six.
Afghanistan: 125/10 in 34.1 overs (Rashid Khan-35; Imran Tahir 4/29, Chris Morris 3/13)
South Africa: 131/1 in 28.4 overs (Quinton de Kock-68, Hashim Amla-41*)
Result: South Africa won the match by 9 wickets (DLS Method).