CARDIFF – South Africa have been searching for a hero at this World Cup; someone to take the game by the scruff of its neck, and turn it in favour of the Proteas.
Enter Imran Tahir. In keeping with the Proteas’ dismal World Cup campaign thus far, Afghanistan made a solid start to proceedings in the Welsh capital.
Equally, the persistent rain had been a disruption all day. A couple of interruptions had already stalled proceedings with 88 minutes being lost in total before captain Faf du Plessis summoned Tahir.
The veteran leg-spinner needed just one ball to imprint his stamp on proceedings, when he clean bowled Afghanistan’s premier batsman Noor Ali Zandran for 32. By the end of the over, Asghar Afghan (0) had chipped the ball back to Tahir too.
South Africa had found their mojo, and there was no looking back. All-rounders Andile Phehlukwayo (2/18) and Chris Morris (3/13) joined the party too as Afghanistan slumped from 69/2 to 77/7 – five wickets lost for the addition of just eight runs.
Although Afghanistan’s cult-hero Rashid Khan (35 off 24 balls, 6x4) entertained the large numbers of Afghan fans with a couple of lusty blows off Kagiso Rabada, but it was too no avail.
Ultimately Afghanistan lost 9/69 as South Africa pressed home their advantage.
Scorecard: Afghanistan: 125 all out (34.1 overs) Tahir 4/29, Morris 3/13, Phehlukwayo 2/18