Cardiff: Afghanistan only managed 125 runs all out in their 2019 ICC World Cup group stage game against South Africa. With the Proteas winning the toss and electing to field first, Afghanistan were blown away by their pacers and Imran Tahir and it was only a late surge from Rashid Khan that took them to a three digit score.
The opening partnership of 39 between Noor Ali Zadran and Hazratullah Zazai turned out to be Afghanistan’s best of the innings. Zazai (22 off 23) was the opening wicket with Kagiso Rabada getting the breakthrough. Zadran and Rahmat Shah then held on until the 16th over but contributed little to the scoreboard.
There was a prolonged break in the proceedings due to rain while Zadran and Hashmatullah Shahidi were in the middle which meant that the match became a 48 overs a side contest.
Zadran was eventually dismissed in the 22nd over by which time Afghanistan were tottering at 69/4. Tahir then took over and South Africa reduced Afghanistan to 77/7, after which Rashid Khan countered to get them past the 100-run mark.
Rashid played 25 balls in which he hit six fours and made 35 runs but fell to Tahir in the 34th over. Two balls later, Hamid Hassan was dismissed by Chris Morris for a duck, thus squaring off another dismal performance from the Afghanistan batting lineup. Both sides are searching for their first win of the tournament. IANS