World Cup 2023: South Africa earn hard fought victory to deny Afghanistan last hurrah


Rashid Khan and David Miller during World Cup 2023 AFG vs
Image Source : AP Rashid Khan and David Miller during World Cup 2023 AFG vs SA match

South Africa quickly returned to winning ways with an impressive five-wicket victory against Afghanistan in their last ICC World Cup 2023 group-stage match on Friday, November 10. Afghanistan’s historic and memorable campaign ended with a disappointing defeat as they finished sixth in the points table.

The young pace all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai scored 97* off 107 to help Afghanistan score 244 runs while batting first at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. But South Africa banked on a brilliant fifty by in-form Rassie van der Dussen and a four-wicket haul from Gerald Coetzee to further cement their second position in the standings.

Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi won the toss and elected to bat first with the unchanged team while Andile Phehlukwayo and Gerald Coetzee came in for Marco Jansen and Tarbaiz Shami for the Proteas.

Having already kicked out of the semifinal race, Afghan openers added 41 runs for the first wicket with Rahmanullah Gurbaz scoring quick 25 runs. But Afghanistan lost both openers and Shahidi in successive manners while attempting to play aggressive cricket.

Omarzai kept the scoreboard moving from one end but didn’t get much support from his teammates. He remained unbeaten on 97* off 107 balls, his highest ODI score, as Afghanistan scored 244 for 10 in 50 overs. Coetzee took four wickets for 44 and Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj bagged two each for South Africa.

Chasing a tough total, openers Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma pulled off an impressive start for the Proteas. The duo added 64 runs for the opening wicket and avoided losing wickets in the first ten overs. Mujeeb Ur Rahman gave Afghanistan a breakthrough in the 11th over by removing Bavuma and Mohammad Nabi dismissed de Kock soon after to balance the game.

Afghanistan spinners were dominant with timely wickets of David Miller, Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen. But a sensible cricket from Rassie and all-rounder Anidle Phehlukwayo helped South Africa remain ahead in the chase.

Rassie top-scored with 76* off 95 balls and Phehlukwayo contributed crucial 39* runs to help South Africa register a five-wicket win. Nabi and Rashid picked two wickets each for Afghanistan but seamers struggled to make an impact in Ahmedabad. 

Afghanistan Playing XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (c), Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Ikram Alikhil (wk), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq

South Africa Playing XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Andile Phehlukwayo, David Miller, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi

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