‘We need to win all remaining games, says South Africa skipper

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir

Tahir took 4-29, engineering an Afghani collapse after a 75-minute rain break as they were dismissed for 125. In a flawless world, yes, we could have pushed a little harder at the end.

South Africa´s Hashim Amla (L) celebrates with teammate South Africa´s Andile Phehlukwayo after victory in the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage match between South Africa and Afghanistan at Sophia Gardens stadium in Cardiff, south Wales, on June 15, 2019.

De Kock and Amla started the chase slowly but the former became more expensive, sealing his 23rd ODI fifty from 58 balls by blazing a leg-side boundary off Rashid, only to then pick out midwicket, allowing Phehlukwayo (17no off 17 balls) to biff two late fours and the match-winning six.

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (c), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah (wk), Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Ikram Ali Khil.

"Imran, as always, is special, but I think especially on a wicket like that today where it's not suited for spinners, straight boundaries, to get four wickets like that was an fantastic bowling performance", du Plessis said. It's about getting runs, finishing a game off, getting confidence for himself.

"We have played hardly any cricket so there is no need to make any changes". However, the players of the war-torn nation can take confidence from the fact that they gave a good account of themselves against the Sri Lankans and nearly pulled it off.

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"Dale was obviously a little bit more serious".

It was Afghanistan's fourth defeat in four matches of the World Cup. They are both moving in the right direction with their game'. "I think time in the middle is gold for anybody", Du Plessis added. "Guys like Quinton [de Kock], they're on a different level when it comes to attacking and being free all the time".

"Hopefully this is a real confidence booster for everyone on the team", he said. But not all players are like him. "There was not much happening out there and the googly was the only one turning, so I realised that was the delivery for wickets", Tahir said after leading South Africa to a morale-boosting nine-wicket win.

'But for me, sitting on the side, I was okay with him because I see the value in it in the games that's coming up next'.

"In a flawless world, Hashim would have scored 40 off 40 or 50 balls but specifically with him it's about the bigger picture of getting runs, finishing a game off and getting his confidence back", du Plessus added. In the next four games, net run-rate is not going to play a massive role if you win those games. "So we need Hashim to score runs for us, hence he needed a not-out innings today".

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