SA vs AFG: ODI World Cup 2023, 42nd ODI
South Africa defeated Afghanistan by five wickets at the Narendra Modi Stadium to finish their league campaign. The Hashmatuallah Shahidi-led side fought bravely and was in the game until the last five overs but things changed once the spinners completed their quota. Batting first, the Afghans posted 244 runs on the board courtesy of an incredible innings from Azmatuallah Omarzai.
When it came to the chase, Quinton de Kock started well but South Africa never looked comfortable. After he got back to the pavilion, Rassie van der Dussen held his nerves and hit 76* runs to help South Africa get over the line. Despite wickets falling from one end, he stuck to his game and eventually delivered in the end. Next up, the Proteas will challenge Australia in the second semi-final of the ongoing ODI World Cup, while Afghanistan will head home, but should be extremely proud of their effort.
Azmatuallah Omarzai: One Man Army
Afghanistan were in a tight situation right from the start as Gerald Coetzee was in remarkable form. However, Omarzai, who had a tremendous tournament, once again stood up and hit 97* runs to help Afghanistan post a respectable total. He was arguably Afghanistan’s best performer in the tournament.
Temba Bavuma’s injury
South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma suffered an injury in the first innings but continued with the same until he got out. Ahead of the semi-final match against Australia, this is not a good sign as captaincy experience can come in handy in a crunch game.
Rassie van der Dussen talking the talk
Rassie van der Dussen once again played a remarkable knock of 76* runs to help South Africa win the match rather comfortably. Despite wickets falling from one end, he held his nerves and helped the team get back to winning ways.
Losing skipper Hashmatuallah Shahidi said:
As a captain I am quite happy with our performance. We fought till the last moment in each and every game. Good learnings for us in the future. Proud of the way our batters performed in this tournament. We were struggling before this tournament. We sat together and talked about the weak point, so at the end, you saw the result how our batsmen did. That’s a positive thing, looking forward to the future. Everyone knows that we have good spin department. If we go with the same momentum, we’ll be a very good side. We gave a good message to the world in this tournament. We played big teams and we fought till the last moment. Australian game, it was in our hands, but it was shocking for us.
Winning skipper Temba Bavuma said:
My leg is sore, don’t know to what extent, it’s gonna have to be fine. I had that option of coming off. I wanted to be out there with the guys. Opportunity for me to spend some time out in the middle. That’s what I felt was right at that moment. Winning is a habit, we want to take that momentum through. We batted second and to get over the line in that manner, that’s going to put a lot of confidence. Fantastic knock by Rassie who took ownership of the innings and guys batted around him. The wicket got better. We’ll take the win, take the confidence and the momentum that comes with it. We’d like to be playing here again. We have a big hurdle that we have to get over first that is Australia in Kolkata.
POTM Rassie van der Dussen said:
We were happy with bowling first, we would have chased anyway. We knew they are a quality bowling attack and we wanted to put ourselves in a difficult situation. There are one or two things we could have tweaked but happy overall. In any chase, there has to be someone to play the anchor role. We had a lovely platform with Quinny and Temba giving us a solid platform and that made it easy for me. Happy to play that role tonight and we got some good partnerships in the middle. It’s funny when you do something so well and the other part is not so good, people say you are doing that badly. We were on the 50-50 mark in terms of chasing so we wanted to put ourselves in a difficult situation and test ourselves going forward. Going into the semi-final, this is what we wanted to do and it worked out well. We have taken a lot of learning from the last two games. Kolkata was a lot drier and a lot lower. We know what to expect going into the semi-final. Hopefully if we get back here again we’ll put in a similar performance.
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