On Friday, South Africa defeated Afghanistan by an impressive five wickets, putting an end to the country’s World Cup 2023 campaign. The Proteas, in pursuit of Afghanistan’s 244-run total, overcame the run chase with ease and reached the target in the 48th over. Despite a stellar start in which they amassed 60 runs for no loss in the first ten overs, the Proteas began to lose wickets and at one stage it appeared impossible for them to chase down the 245-run target.
The Proteas suffered intermittent wicket losses and played a large number of dot balls, but Rassie van der Dussen maintained his composure on the field and scored 76 runs off seven boundaries in an unbeaten innings. Although Dussen contributed the most significant innings, it is impossible to overlook Andile Phehlukwayo’s 39 off 37 deliveries, which included three sixes, as it was he who executed the game-winning stroke. In addition to De Kock (41), Aiden Markram (25) and David Miller (24) made contributions for their team.
Afghanistan’s World Cup journey ended with South Africa’s triumph
Australia will be the opponent of South Africa in the World Cup semifinals. When Afghanistan batted first, they encountered considerable difficulty against the Proteas bowling assault, as both of their openers, Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, were dismissed early, with the Proteas trailing 41-2 after 9.3 overs.
As the loss of wickets persisted, not a solitary Afghani batsman managed to lodge for an extended duration. Rahmat Shah, one of their team’s leading scorers in this tournament, was unable to contribute significantly to the total as he was dismissed for 26 runs.
Azmatullah Omarzai, despite the disorder, persevered until the end and contributed a tenacious and combative knock that propelled his team to a respectable 244 runs. Omarzai continued to bat until the 50th over was complete, but his 97 runs fell short of a century that was richly deserved. Ten boundaries, seven fours, and three sixes comprised his stroke.
His innings was primarily sustained by the crucial 24 runs and four boundaries contributed by the youngster Noor Ahmed. Gerald Coetzee, one of South Africa’s most effective bowlers in the World Cup, once again distinguished his team with four wickets in ten overs for forty-four runs. Further, he delivered a maiden over.
Afghanistan’s World Cup campaign concluded with a mere eight points out of a possible eighteen. Despite all obstacles, their voyage to the mega event was fruitful, as they had only achieved two victories in the previous two World Cups (2015) and 2019.