South Africa have claimed their first victory of the 2019 World Cup after thrashing Afghanistan by nine wickets in Cardiff on Saturday. It was the battle of the two sides that were yet to register a win at this year’s tournament but in truth it was never really a contest, as South Africa bowled Afghanistan out for just 125 off 34.1 overs.
Openers Hazratullah Zazai (22) and Noor Ali (32) did provide some initial resistance for Afghanistan and there was also a knock of 35 lower down the order from Rashid Khan, but they were the only players to hit double figures. Spinner Imran Tahir was the pick of the South Africa bowlers, ending with figures of 4-29, while the economy rate of Chris Morris (3-13) and Andile Phehlukwayo (2-18) also caught the eye.
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It did not take long for the Proteas to chase down the target, as they comfortably got there inside 29 overs and with nine wickets to spare, with Phehlukwayo (17no) hitting the winning runs with a big six. Hashim Amla (41no) was alongside Phehlukwayo at the end of the innings, with the only wicket to fall being that of Quinton de Kock (68), who was dismissed by Gulbadin Naib.
South Africa will now be looking to build on that victory when they take on New Zealand at Edgbaston on Wednesday, while Afghanistan will be aiming to get their first points on the board against hosts England at Old Trafford 24 hours earlier.
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