South Africa finally managed to register their first win of the World Cup 2019 on Saturday as they beat Afghanistan in a one-sided contest in Cardiff to grab two crucial points and keep their campaign alive in the competition.
Chasing a revised target of 127 from 48 overs, the Proteas openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla knocked off 104 runs in 22.5 overs before going past the finish line in 28.4 overs with 9 wickets in hand. De Kock smashed 68 off 72 balls, his 23rd ODI fifty, while Amla and Andile Phehlukwayo remained not out on 41 and 17 respectively.
The target was revised for the Proteas after the two rain breaks in the first innings of the match in Cardiff.
The win was South Africa’s first in five matches in the World Cup this year and it took them over Pakistan and Bangladesh in the points table. South Africa are placed seventh now, they are tied on 3 points with the West Indies, Pakistan and Bangladesh
“Today was a good day for us. We spoke a lot about it and today we were good. I think the nature of seam bowlers, it would have been a challenge. It was important to get a good start, the wicket was not very conducive to spin. Morris and Tahir were fantastic in the middle overs as they got wickets. He has made us a strong team in the last one year single handedly, his ability to take wickets.
“Naturally Quinton plays quite freely but it was important to play with the new ball. We needed a 60 or 70-run stand upfront and we could have worked on the run rate later. It was Amla to get amongst runs, he will be important for us in the upcoming games. The net run rate could be worked later on,” South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said after the match.
ICC (@ICC) June 15, 2019
Earlier, Leg-spinner Imran Tahir took four wickets as South Africa dismissed Afghanistan for 125 in 34.1 overs in their rain-affected innings after being put into bat first by Faf du Plessis.
Tahir took two wickets in his first over and finished with figures of 4-29 off seven overs as Afghanistan collapsed after a second rain break at Sophia Gardens.
“I really enjoyed that, the way it came out, it was more important for me to play my role for the team, nice to have a first victory in our pocket. We were really up for it, we can’t control the weather, but we wanted the intensity to stay in the game. All in all a very pleasing performance,” Imran Tahir said after being adjudged man-of-the-match.
4/29 from Imran Tahir helps South Africa restrict Afghanistan to 125 all-out.
The DLS revised target for is 127. Can they get their first #CWC19 win?
ICC (@ICC) June 15, 2019
Andile Phehlukwayo also helped engineer the downfall with two wickets in his first two overs after a 75-minute break as the Afghans slipped from 69-2 to 77-7.
A cameo of 35 from Rashid Khan took them into three figures before he became Tahir’s fourth victim. Chris Morris then finished off the tail with figures of 3-13.
Afghanistan took advantage of some sloppy bowling from the South Africans to make a positive start before Hazratullah Zazai was caught in the ninth over when Rassie van der Dussen took a low catch sliding in from deep midwicket off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada.
At 69-2 after 20 overs, when rain stopped play, the Afghanis looked to have the potential to post a decent 200-plus score against a South African side lacking in confidence but failed to build on the promising start.
South Africa have lost three of their opening four games, with the other one called off due to rain.