WC: South Africa ended Afghanistan's stunning run with a five-wicket win

WC: South Africa ended Afghanistan's stunning run with a five-wicket win
South Africa defeated Afghanistan by five wickets in the ICC Men's ODI World Cup. Rassie van der Dussen's unbeaten 76 and Quinton de Kock's 47-ball 41 helped South Africa secure the win. Azmatullah Omarzai's 97 not out was a commendable effort, but it wasn't enough to save Afghanistan from elimination. Despite this loss, Afghanistan had some remarkable victories against England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the tournament. The second inning of the match was a fiercely contested battle between the Afghanistan bowlers and South Africa batters, with the latter emerging victorious.
Rassie van der Dussen starred for South Africa with splendid innings, whereas old-hands Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi were the stars for Afghanistan. In the first innings, Omarzai's fighting 97 not out helped Afghanistan finish strongly and post 244 all out in 50 overs after South Africa had dominated for the majority of the innings. Gerald Coetzee (4-44) and Keshav Maharaj (2-25) shined for the Proteas. Chasing 245, South Africa eventually reached 247/5 in 47.3 overs to win the match by five wickets.
South African openers started strongly with Quinton de Kock hitting two fours and three sixes in the first Powerplay. Temba Bavuma batted well despite his hamstring issues. However, Afghanistan got a wicket each in the second Powerplay - Bavuma fell while trying to hit Mujeeb Ur Rahman past deep mid-wicket and Mohammad Nabi got Quinton de Kock out lbw after a review. Van der Dussen & Markram improved the Proteas' scoring rate but Rashid's special spell got two important breakthroughs. Miller supported van der Dussen as they batted out anxious deliveries and moved towards their target.
South Africa beat Afghanistan by five wickets. Miller was caught by Nabi in the 38th over. Afghanistan's spinners slowed down South Africa's scoring rate. Van der Dussen and Phehlukwayo helped South Africa win. Afghanistan's openers started steadily, despite some close calls. Keshav Maharaj dropped a tough catch. But it was Maharaj who eventually brought the Proteas their first breakthrough. Off his very first ball, he induced a thin edge off Rahmanullah Gurbaz (25) which Heinrich Klaasen snapped at the first slip. Off the very next over, Gerald Coetzee snared the previous match's centurion, Ibrahim Zadran, for 15. He got Ibrahim to nick one behind the wicket as Afghanistan fell to 41/2. Wickets continued to tumble as Maharaj removed Hashmatullah Shahidi and Afghanistan eventually fell to 116/6.
Azmatullah Omarzai then took charge and helped Afghanistan move ahead. He reached a patient half-century in the 37th over. From 116/6, he added 44 runs for the seventh wicket with Rashid Khan (14). And after Rashid fell, he continued fighting with the positive Noor Ahmad (26). With the Afghanistan tail, Azmatullah added 71 runs in the final powerplay, even as the South African bowlers erred in their lines and lengths. In the end, Omarzai's heroics went in vain as Afghanistan succumbed to a five-wicket defeat.
Source: IANS