Cardiff [UK], June 16 (ANI): South Africa managed to register their first win in the ongoing ICC Men's Cricket World Cup after they defeated Afghanistan by nine wickets at Sophia Garden here on Sunday.
Chasing a low total of 127 runs, South Africa got off to a brilliant start. Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla opened the inning the Proteas and played steadily. Both kept the scoreboard running and De Kock scored his half-century while chasing the target.
Both formed a 104-run partnership before De Kock got out in the 23rd over bowled by Gulbadin Naib which ended De Kock's 68-run inning. Amla was then accompanied by Andile Phehlukwayo when the team needed just 23 runs from 25 overs.
Both Amla (41) and Phehlukwayo (17) played some impeccable shots and the latter finished the match in style as he smashed a six when the team needed just two runs to win. With this, South Africa secured a massive nine-wicket victory and interestingly, registered their first victory in the World Cup.
Earlier, Afghanistan, who were sent to bat first had a decent start as both the openers, Noor Ali and Hazratullah Zazai, played calmly while avoiding risky shots. Both formed a 39-run partnership before Kagiso Rabada, in the ninth over, provided his side with their first breakthrough in the name of Zazai (22).
Rahmat Shah then took the field along with Ali; however, their partnership also did not last long as Shah got out after scoring just six runs in the 16th over. Shah's dismissal brought Hashmatullah Sahidi (8) on the field, but he too was sent back to the pavilion by Andile Phehlukwayo in the 21st over.
In the very next over, Iram Tahir bowled set-batsman Ali which and ended his 32-run inning. Tahir did not stop right there as he took another wicket in the same over, this time Asghar Afghan, who went back to the pavilion on a duck.
Mohammad Nabi took got out after scoring just one run. Afghanistan's fall of wicket did not stop as Gulbadin Naib (5) too became a victim of Tahir in the 26th over. Ikram Ali Khil and Rashid Khan then took the charge and provided their side with the much-needed momentum.
Both added 34 runs on the scoreboard before Ali Khil (9) was caught by Amla off Chris Morris' delivery in the 33rd over. Rashid Khan came out furiously in the next over as he smashed three boundaries to Imran Tahir but Tahir made a solid comeback and got hold of him in the same over. Rashid Khan played a knock of 35 runs and was the highest run-getter from his side.
Chris Morris bowled the 35th over and took the wicket of Hamid Hassan and with this, all the Afghanistan side was sent back to the pavilion when they had just 125 runs on the scoreboard. The match was reduced to 48 overs due to rain and because of the DLS involvement, the target for the Proteas went up by one run, i.e 127 runs.
South Africa will now face New Zealand on June 19 while Afghanistan will compete with England on June 18.
South Africa 131/1 (Quinton de Kock 68, Hashim Amla 41, Gulbadin Naid 1-29) defeated Afghanistan 125/10 (Rashid Khan 35, Noor Ali 32, Imran Tahir 4-29) by nine wickets. (ANI)