ICC World Cup 2023: South Africa beat Afghanistan by 5 wickets

ICC World Cup 2023: South Africa beat Afghanistan by 5 wickets

Ahmedabad, The Gulf Observer: South Africa defeated Afghanistan by five wickets in the 42nd match of the ICC World Cup 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad, India, on Friday to end their group stage campaign on a high note.

Despite a brilliant start that saw the Proteas scoring 60 runs in the first 10 overs for no loss, they started to lose wickets and at one point it looked like they would struggle to chase the 245-run target.

The Proteas lost wickets at intervals — with a lot of dot balls played — but Rassie van der Dussen stayed on the pitch and held his nerves, playing an unbeaten knock of 76 runs, courtesy of seven boundaries.

While it was Dussen who played the most important innings, Andile Phehlukwayo’s crucial knock of 39 off 37 that included three sixes cannot be ignored as it was he who played the winning shot of the match.

De Kock (41), Aiden Markram (25) and David Miller (24) were the other contributors to their side.

South Africa’s next match will be against Australia in the World Cup semi-final.

Batting first, Afghanistan’s batters had their fair share of struggle against the Proteas’ bowling attack as both of their openers, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, were out early, leaving their side 41-2 in 9.3 overs.

The wickets continued to fall as not a single Afghani batter managed to stay for long. One of their top performer of this tournament, Rahmat Shah, too failed to score big for his side as he ended up losing his wicket for 26 runs.

However, among all the chaos, it was Azmatullah Omarzai who stayed till the end and played a resilient and fighting knock to take his side to a competitive 244-run total.

Omarzai batted till the end of the 50th over but he missed out on a well-deserving century as he could only score 97 runs. His knock included 10 boundaries, seven fours and three sixes.

He was largely supported by an important knock of youngster Noor Ahmed who contributed 24 runs with four boundaries.

Gerald Coetzee, who is one of South Africa’s best bowlers in the World Cup, shined for his side once again and took four wickets for 44 runs in 10 overs. He also bowled a maiden over.

Afghanistan ended their World Cup campaign with eight points out of a possible 18. Despite everything, their journey in the mega event was a success as before this year’s mega event, they only had two wins in the last two World Cups — 2015 and 2019.