World Cup 2019: Tahir, de Kock hand Proteas maiden win

Imran Tahir's four-wicket haul and Quinton de Kock's knock of 68 helped South Africa clinch its first victory in ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

SCORES×
Both Faf du Plessis and Gulbadin Naib will be hoping to bag their first win in this edition of the World Cup.

Both Faf du Plessis and Gulbadin Naib will be hoping to bag their first win in this edition of the World Cup.   -  Getty Images

Hello and welcome to the highlights of Match 21 of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between South Africa and Afghanistan at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

SA 131/1 after 28.4 overs: Andile Phehlukwayo dances down the wicket and dispatches Nabi for a maximum to finish off things and bring home the crucial two points. A nine-wicket victory it is!

SA 118/1 after 26 overs: Phehlukwayo welcomes Rashid Khan with a slog sweep over deep midwicket for a boundary off his very first ball. He slams another through covers to end the over.

SA 104/1 after 22.5 overs: Finally! A consolation prize for Afghanistan as de Kock falls for 68. Finds Nabi within the circle as he tries to pull one towards deep midwicket. du Plessis sends Andile Phehlukwayo to finish off things

SA 100/0 after 22.3 overs: South Africa cruising towards its maiden victory in this edition of the World Cup as it reaches the 100-run mark.

SA 91/0 after 20 overs:  Drinks break! Nabi bowls this one fuller, outside off as Amla cross-bats one over backward square leg for a boundary.

SA 73/0 after 17 overs: Quinton de Kock gets to his fifty off 58 balls with a boundary over midwicket.

SA 63/0 after 16 overs: The left-handed Quinton de Kock finding a bit of difficulty countering Mohammad Nabi who is extracting quite the turn from the surface.

SA 53/0 after 13 overs: The fifty comes up for South Africa with a boundary... finally! An outside edge rolls down to the fence.

SA 35/0 after 10 overs: The Proteas score just 35 runs in the first Powerplay after a boundary comes in this over thanks to a misfield in the deep by former skipper Asghar Afghan.

SA 30/0 after 9 overs: Rashid Khan has been introduced into the attack by skipper Gulbadin Naib. After de Kock's pull shot towards mid-wicket for a boundary off the very first ball, no runs come from this over.

#StatAttack: Afghanistan has lost its last three ODIs, only once before has it lost more consecutive matches in this format since its debut fixture in 2009, a four-game run in 2015 which included three ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup matches.

 

SA 19/0 after 7 overs: FOUR! Finally de Kock gets one through the offside as the ball races away to the ropes through extra cover.

SA 11/0 after 4 overs: Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock continue rotating the strike, milking the 1s and 2s.

#StatAttack: South African duo David Miller and Hashim Amla are both nearing ODI batting milestones, Miller needs just nine runs to reach 3,000 whilst Amla needs 65 to reach 8,000.

 

SA 3/0 after 2 overs: The Proteas seem to be in no hurry at Cardiff. Just three runs come from the first two overs.

South Africa requires 127 runs to win from 48 overs. (DLS Target)

-INNINGS BREAK-

AFG 125 after 34.1 overs: That is the final wicket. Morris walks in to bowl and Hamid Hassan edges and skies the very first ball. Skipper du Plessis does the honours.

An easy task for South Africa from here?

AFG 125/9 after 33.5 overs: WICKET! Rashid Khan's valuable cameo during the final stages comes to an end as he perishes to a shorter one from Imran Tahir. He tries to go for a maximum but finds van der Dussen in the deep who takes a fine catch.

AFG 111/8 after 32.4 overs: Another edged and taken at first slip as the extra bounce from Chris Morris does the trick. Ikram Ali Khil departs.

AFG 105/7 after 31 overs: Kagiso Rabada continues to trouble the left-handed wicketkeeper batsman Ikram Ali Khil as he continues to hit the good length areas.

AFG 102/7 after 29 overs: FOUR! 100 up for Afghanistan in style as Rashid lifts one over the covers. One bounce, over the ropes...

AFG 88/7 after 27 overs: Two back-to-back boundaries from Rashid Khan gives some hope to Afghanistan. Will he be able to emerge as the day's hero and drag his side out of the muck?

AFG 77/7 after 25.2 overs: Naib looks to slap one over midwicket but finds Aiden Markram instead, who pulls off a stunning catch! The figures read 3/3 for Imran Tahir as the skipper, Gulbadin Naib departs now. Rashid is the new man in.

AFG 70/6 after 22.1 overs: And Afghanistan falling in a heap here. Phehlukwayo gets his second. Nabi CASTLED!

AFG 70/5 after 21.5 overs: Did South Africa miss a trick by not introducing Tahir earlier? Asghar Afghan out for a duck. A leading edge back to the bowler: Caught and bowled. Easy as it goes...

The speakers at Sophia Gardens blaring out AC/DC's Highway to Hell. Well...

AFG 69/4 after 21.1 overs: And the moment we have all been waiting for. Imran Tahir has been handed the ball and he has already rewarded the team with interest off the very first delivery. Googly, spins inwards and crashes on to the furniture. Noor Ali was clueless.

AFG 69/3 after 20.4 overs: And Andile Phehlukwayo gets Shahidi. The rain-break does no good to Afghanistan. Edged and taken at first slip.

The match is scheduled to start at 9:05pm IST. It will be a 48-over contest.

Finally the covers are coming off. Remains to be seen whether we have lost overs to the delay though.

Meanwhile, you can follow the other World Cup match going on at the Oval between Australia and Sri Lanka. Click here.

A hint of sunlight at Sophia Gardens. The outfield is being roped.

There is a slight drizzle. The forecast says it should take another two hours to clear out completely.

#StatAttack: This is South Africa’s sixth scheduled men’s ODI at the Cardiff Wales Stadium, it won its inaugural match there against Zimbabwe in 2003 before two matches against England ended in a ‘no result’ in 2008 and 2012 and then a defeat to India and tie with West Indies in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.

 

Oh no! Rain stoppage again. This must be frustrating for everyone out there... Afghanistan 69/2 after 20 overs.

AFG 66/2 after 18.2 overs: Afghanistan successfully reviews an LBW decision. Noor Ali is safe. There was a faint edge before the ball crashed onto the pads. Surprising though, he had to consult the non-striker Shahidi before going upstairs. (Why?)

#StatAttack: Only Allan Donald (38) has taken more ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup wickets for South Africa than Imran Tahir (33), a five-wicket haul in this match would see them go level.

 

AFG 65/2 after 17 overs: DRINKS BREAK: Phehlukwayo, who is bowling his fourth over, pitches one a bit wide of off stump and has been punished by Shahidi. Cut away to glory, into the gap. FOUR!

AFG 56/2 after 15.1 overs: Rahmat Shah walks. Chris Morris traps the batsman in front of the wicket but Shah goes for the DRS after consulting non-striker Noor Ali. The ball tracker shows "Umpire's Call". Shahidi is the new man in. He needs 54 runs to reach 1,000 in ODIs. It would make him the ninth Afghanistan player to reach this milestone and he heads into this match after scoring 59 in his last appearance (vs New Zealand).

AFG 52/1 after 14 overs: Noor Ali brings up the side's fifty with a pull over square leg to send a shorter Morris delivery to the ropes. The bowler stares at him in disbelief.

AFG 44/1 after 12 overs: That's bizzare. Faf du Plessis tries to get Rahmat Shah run out at the non-striker end, but the throw takes an awkward bounce off a small hole in the pitch (why was that there? You tell me.) and flies over the stumps. A light moment under the gloomy skies.

#StatAttack: Imran Tahir is set for his 100th ODI bowling innings, he’s bowled 180 balls in the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and is yet to be hit for a six, he’s the only spinner to have bowled 100+ balls and not be hit for a six.

 

AFG 39/1 after 8.2 overs: Wicket for Rabada! Well that is the breakthrough South Africa wanted. A little late on that pull shot, Zazai ends up offering a catch to Rassie van der Dussen at deep midwicket.

AFG 39/0 after 8 overs: The match resumes after rain and Afghanistan has picked up right from where it left things off. Zazai whips Hendricks to the ropes through extra cover.

Well bad news! Has been a common sight this World Cup, hasn't it? It has started to rain in Cardiff as the ground staff have started to bring on the covers.

AFG 25/0 after 5 overs: And Zazai has been granted a lifeline. Oh how crucial will this prove to be for the Proteas? Zazai lifts one really high and Chris Morris, who starts sprinting from mid-on, desperately tries to get to it. He gets his fingers to it but fails to latch onto it. Worse, it rolls over to the ropes.

AFG 17/0 after 4 overs: Noor Ali is off the mark and how! A similar line and length from Hendricks but Ali finally connects to hammer a boundary, beating the fielder at point.

AFG 4/0 after 2 overs: Beuran Hendricks bags a maiden over early into the game as he continued to trouble Noor Ali Zadran with every delivery in that over. More or less hit the good length areas and maintained a tight off stump line.

AFG 4/0 after 1 over: More or less a decent over from Rabada. However, he commits an error off his last delivery, going for the full toss, maybe looking to lure the batsman in to skying the ball for an early breakthrough. Zazai taps into the opportunity instead and smacks it away to backward square leg for a boundary.

Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali are at the crease. Kagiso Rabada to open the attack.

Playing XI:

Afghanistan: Hazratullah Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil (w), Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan

South Africa: Quinton de Kock (w), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks

  • Faf du Plessis wins the toss, opts to field.
     
  • The toss is scheduled to take place at 5:30pm IST.

Here is a preview of Saturday's second match:

Forecast:

Temperature - 16 degrees

Mostly cloudy, possible showers during the initial hours of match.

 

Winless so far in the tournament, both South Africa and Afghanistan will be eagerly looking to tick the victory box when they take on each other in a World Cup encounter on Saturday.

Down and out, the two bottom-placed teams know that this will be their best chance to post their first win in the ongoing 50-over showpiece.

This is perhaps the first time that South Africa, from the very beginning, was never in contention to make it to the semifinals but remaining winless after four matches is something unexpected.

After three straight losses against England, Bangladesh and India, its fourth match against the West Indies was abandoned due to rain.

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

This will be the first ever match between South Africa and Afghanistan in ODI cricket; they have met on the international stage twice in the T20I format however, with South Africa winning both matches.

 

Afghanistan faced a similar fate, losing all three of their matches till now to defending champions Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

However, the players of the war-torn nation can take confidence from the fact that they gave a good account of themselves against the Sri Lankans and almost pulled it off.

READ: If we look back, it would be tough to get out of hole: du Plessis

While Afghanistan will be fancying its chances against a lowly South Africa side, the Proteas would be more than keen to live up to their past reputation and make a statement against the Asian minnows.

South Africa has been mostly done in by its inexperienced batting line-up, coupled with injuries to a few of its key players. The South Africa batsmen have been struggling, and even in the wash-out game against West Indies, they were down at 29/2 before the match was called off.

Experienced Hashim Amla has been is in dismal form and the semi-finalists of the 2015 edition can only hope that the veteran batsmen start to fire.

OPTA FACTS:

• South Africa has three losses and a no-result from its first four matches at the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, a win here and it will be in the exact same position after five games as the 1992 Pakistan team who went on to win the tournament.

• South Africa has lost its last three completed men’s ODIs; the last time it lost more consecutive completed ODI fixtures was a four-game stretch in a series against England in England (August 2008).

• Afghanistan lost to Sri Lanka in Cardiff earlier in the tournament, its only previous match at the Welsh venue, Mohammad Nabi did however equal his ODI career best bowling figures in the match (4/30).

 

The responsibility rests on the shoulders of skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock and the two will be expected to bring their ‘A’ game into the fore against Afghanistan.

Batting remains a concern for Afghanistan as well and with Mohammad Shahzad back home due to fitness issues, they will have their back against the wall.

“We looked forward, so we didn't go to the past. We had one week off. We got plenty of good things in this last week,” Naib told reporters on Friday.

“Obviously we missed Shahzad. We have good youngsters on the team now on the side, so we're excited for the next game.”

CLICK HERE FOR SPORTSTAR'S COVERAGE OF THE ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2019

The Afghanistan captain also said Rashid Khan, who suffered concussion after being hit by Lockie Ferguson in the last match, is "feeling much better". The leg-break bowler has been involved in Afghanistan's training session on the eve of the match.

It would be an uphill task for the Afghanistan batters against the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir. Just like their rivals, the Afghans would also be banking on their bowlers led by leg-spinner Rashid Khan.

 

The Teams (from):

South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Beuran Hendricks, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.

 

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (c), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah (wk), Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Ikram Ali Khil.

 

The match, which starts at 6pm IST, will be telecast on the Star Sports Network and will be streamed live on Hotstar.