ICC Cricket World Cup, 2019
Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Date & Time: 15 June 2019
RR: 4.56 | South Africa beat Afghanistan by 9 wickets (D/L method)
Sunday. June 16. When probably, not just Asia, but the entire world stands still. Because India take on Pakistan. Finish off your chores for the day, take good rest, get some lunch, drinks, popcorn, whatever you wish and be ready on your seats - the action begins at 10.30 am local (0930 GMT) in Manchester. Do, do, do, tune in. ADIOS! TAKE CARE!
Double header number 4 of this World Cup ends! Australia trounced Sri Lanka while South Africa slowly got past Afghanistan to finally make a move on in the points table. They move to 7th while Australia are up at number 1.
Victorious South African captain, Faf du Plessis, feels that the Proteas performed much better today, with more intensity. On the slow approach, Faf says that they needed some runs under the belt, hence the need to bat out the first 10 overs carefully. Praises the bowlers for bowling well in the middle overs and also Tahir, for doing extremely well even on grounds with short boundaries. On the approach regarding the net run rate, du Plessis says that the initial thought was to see off the first 10 overs and then once the opening stand was past 70, Andile Phehlukwayo was padded up to finish off the game quickly. Is hoping that the team builds some confidence from this game.
Afghanistan skipper, Gulbadin Naib, manages a smile despite the defeat. Rues his luck on losing the toss and praises his side for starting well and putting up a fight. Admits that the Imran Tahir spell completely took them by surprise and is disappointed that the excellent start was wasted. Puts the onus on the batsmen to get 50-run partnerships. On Rashid Khan's innings, Gulbadin marvels at the team's batting depth which goes upto 9 but is quick to point out that the ones above Rashid need to take some responsibility and bat deeper, not throwing wickets away. On the team change today, Naib says that Najibullah was not performing too well in the last 2 games and Afghan is a senior, hence the change. Hopes to have Zadran back in form. On their next game against England, Naib hopes that something goes their way.
IMRAN TAHIR HAS BEEN NAMED THE MAN OF THE MATCH. Says that he is really pleased with his job today but overall, he is happy to have contributed to the team's win. Stresses that the team was up for
an on-off game and wanted to play with the same intensity after any such rain break. Praises the fast bowlers for setting up the tone. On the grass on the wicket, Tahir says that he knew he was not going to get any turn, so only looked to keep it wicket-to-wicket. Feels lucky that his experiments came out fruitful. On his celebrations, Immy says that he enjoys every wicket and feels that is the only way he can enjoy himself. Hopes to carry this momentum into the next game in Birmingham. On his battle with Rashid Khan, Tahir says that the Afghan leggie played a few good shots but now, he can run and whisper into his ear that he got his wicket.
Tough day at the office for Afghanistan. Started well with the bat, but then lost their way after the second rain break. With the ball, they barely could do much and had to settle with a solitary wicket. Rashid Khan could do nothing much with the ball either. Please stay tuned for the presentation.
After his half century, de Kock tried to finish the game off quickly but could not quite do so. Hashim Amla played a curious Warneresque innings, with his strike rate being even below 50. Certainly was not his own self. But at the end of the day, victory by 9 wickets and 116 balls to spare will be taken by the Proteas.
On a pitch which had juice, 125 might have been challenging. Might have been. But the sunshine during the innings break, wiped out any juice on offer. It was a nice pancake baked for the Proteas and the openers just feasted. Strangely though, they did not feel the need to accelerate and took their own sweet time to score.
The game ends at last. South Africa have laboured and laboured but eventually got those 2 crucial points. Perhaps they did not feel the need to go hammer and tongs, concentrating more on the win.
Aftab Alam is back! Will it be the last over of the game?
Rashid Khan is back!
South Africa doing an England. Andile Phehlukwayo comes in at number 3, with 23 needed.
Drinks Break! South Africa need just 36 runs to wrap this up. Getting back in this game for Afghanistan looks next to impossible now. They will still look to get a wicket or two which will boost their confidence.
Gulbadin Naib is back!
Change of bowling then. Mohammad Nabi into the attack. Can he give Afghanistan something to smile?
POWERPLAY 2 time. 4 fielders allowed outside the 30-yard circle till the 39th over, if the match goes till then.
The skipper has introduced himself into the attack. Afghanistan need a wicket and Naib feels he can provide them with it. Let's see.
Rashid Khan into the attack.
A delayed review from Afghanistan. Looks high to the naked eye. Amla might just continue batting. Nothing on the Ultra Edge. And Hawk Eye shows it to be missing leg stump both on height and angle. Review lost early for Afghanistan.
WORLD CUP 2019 UPDATE - Meanwhile, at The Oval, Australia have trounced Sri Lanka by 87 runs to go atop the table. Batting first, the Aussies put on 334/7 on the board. Sri Lanka in reply, were 115/0 in the 16th over but lost track once Kusal Perera departed.
Hamid Hassan to bowl from the other end with the second new ball.
We are back for the chase! Afghanistan players are in a huddle as their skipper, Naib says last words of inspiration before the players take their respective positions in the field. Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock stride out to the middle to open the innings for South Africa. Aftab Alam to operate with the first new ball for Afghanistan.