WORLD CUP: South Africa whip Afghanistan for first win

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South Africa revived their World Cup hopes with a nine-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Cardiff.

Having failed to win any of their first four matches, they dismissed a winless Afghanistan for 125 after two rain delays cut the match to 48 overs.

Imran Tahir struck twice in his first over and took 4-29 as Afghanistan lost five for eight in 29 balls. Quinton de Kock made 68 as South Africa reached their revised target of 127 with 19.5 overs to spare.

SCOREBOARD: http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8039/scorecard/1144503/afghanistan-vs-south-africa-21st-match-icc-cricket-world-cup-2019

Bowled out for 207 in the opening match to lose to England by 107 runs, further defeats followed against Bangladesh and India for South Africa, with their only point accrued in a fixture against West Indies at Southampton abandoned because of rain.

Premier fast bowler Dale Steyn was ruled out for the rest of the tournament through injury and it was venerable 40-year-old leg-spinner Tahir who provided the spark against Afghanistan after Faf du Plessis had chosen to field.

Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran played some enterprising strokes to help their team to 69-2 when the lengthier of the two rain breaks arrived, but the resumption proved calamitous for Afghanistan in their first ODI against South Africa.

Hashmatullah Shahidi edged the fourth ball of the restart to slip, the first of four wickets to fall for one run in 10 balls.

Tahir, playing his 103rd ODI, bowled the 21st over and struck with his first delivery – a perfectly executed googly that bowled Noor Ali through the gate – and four balls later Asghar Afghan chipped back a simple return catch after being equally bamboozled.

It needed a cavalier approach from Rashid Khan, with three fours in four balls during his 35, to ensure Afghanistan reached three figures. (BBC Sport)

 

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