Afghanistan shock hosts SA in Under 19 World Cup opener | Daily News


 

Afghanistan shock hosts SA in Under 19 World Cup opener

KIMBERLEY, Friday - What began as a carnival in Kimberley, soon turned to a nightmare for the home fans as South Africa were bamboozled by Afghanistan’s wristspinners to lose their opening game by seven wickets.

Shafiqullah Ghafari was Afghanistan’s wrecker-in-chief, taking 6 for 15 - the joint seventh-best figures in the tournament’s history - as South Africa collapsed from 62 for 2 to 129 all out in the space of 16.3 overs.

For nearly that whole period of play, Ghafari bowled relentlessly from one end, troubling a batting unit that looked out of place against quality spin bowling. Once he put South Africa on the mat, Afghanistan’s experienced batting unit - led by Test player Ibrahim Zadran - helped the visitors claim victory with 150 balls to spare, handing them a massive net run-rate boost.

For South Africa, their net run-rate went in the opposite direction, and are now looking at the prospect of an early exit from their home World Cup if they don’t defeat both UAE and Canada in their following games.

The day had begun with the opening ceremony at the Diamond Oval, attended by children from local schools, who saw a traditional dance show performed by 130 men, women and children from the Galeshewe local township. It ended with most of those schoolkids engrossed in their own little games of cricket on the grass-banks as No.5 Abid Mohammadi struck the winning runs in the 25th over.

Afghanistan’s celebrations were muted, however, perhaps a reflection of their self-belief and confidence, as the two captains shook hands and brought the first game of the tournament to a close, much to the disappointment of the locals who began to exit the arena long before the game’s conclusion.

Scores:

South Africa 129 (29.1) (B Parsons 40, Shafiqullah Ghafari 6-15, Fazal Haque 2-43)

Afghanistan 130-3 (25) (Imran 57, Ibrahim Zadran 52, Cloate 2-20)

 


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