Proteas win toss and bowl against Afghanistan

Mohammad Nabi

Mohammad Nabi

South Africa kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals by thumping a poor Afghanistan side by nine wickets on Saturday to record their first win of the tournament.

The Proteas are unchanged from the washout against the West Indies.

They were hardly fluent - Amla especially so - but were never troubled and eased to South Africa's first hundred-run stand with de Kock registering his 23rd ODI fifty.

Chasing a rain-adjusted target of 127 off 48 overs, the Proteas went about their job without much trouble, though didn't exactly speed to victory and boost their net run rate by as much as they perhaps could have.

"I was really pleased with the bowlers and once again Andile and Chris were very good in the middle there". "It was important for me to take that role for the team".

Afghanistan were razed upon the restart, though, as they lost five wickets for eight runs, starting when Hashmatullah Shahidi (8) edged Phehlukwayo behind on the drive to Du Plessis in the first over back. It's nice to have that first victory.

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The Proteas, missing the injured Dale Steyn, suffered defeats against England, Bangladesh and India before picking up a point from a rain-ruined match against the West Indies in Southampton.

Mohammad Nabi (1) chopped Phehlukwayo onto his stumps before Gulbadin (5) pulled a long-hop from Tahir to midwicket where Aiden Markeam took a superb catch above his head.

Afghanistan made one change, bringing in former captain Asghar Afghan in place of Najibullah Zadran.

With nothing to lose, Rashid Khan opened up and struck three fours before he holed out to Rassie van der Dussen at deep square leg to give Tahir his fourth for the afternoon.

"We need a good total on the board so we needed a partnership".

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