Rassie van der Dussen’s composure and Gerald Coetzee’s energy allowed seasoned South Africa to escape a strong fight from Afghanistan and prevail by five wickets in the World Cup’s final league game.
Given a goal of 245, South Africa achieved the assignment, with Van der Dussen staying unbeaten on 76 off 95 balls, ensuring their spot in the last four. Andile Phehlukwayo was unbeaten on 37 balls following a match-winning 65-run tandem with Van der Dussen.
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The Rundown: South Africa vs Afghanistan
Rassie van der Dussen hit an icy, unbeaten half-century after South Africa’s bowler Gerald Coetzee took four wickets. On Friday, Afghanistan was defeated by a five-wicket victory in their final World Cup group game in Ahmedabad.
Given a goal of 245, South Africa accomplished their objective, with Van der Dussen remaining unbeaten on 76 off 95 balls, ensuring their spot in the semifinals.
Andile Phehlukwayo, who had a match-winning partnership of 65 runs alongside Van van Dussen, also went unbeaten on 37 balls.
Rassie Van der Dussen Guides the Proteas to Victory with ODI Fifty
Earlier, Coetzee grabbed 4 for 44 as Afghanistan was confined to 244 despite Azmatullah Omarzai’s 97. Yet, Omarzai’s blow enabled the Afghans to come back from 116 for six.
The victory qualified the Proteas to face a semi-final against the Aussies next week.
Assuming Pakistan defeats England on Saturday, New Zealand seems certain to face the hosts India, in the other semifinal match.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman struck skipper Temba Bavuma for 23 and partner spinner Mohammad Nabi caught Quinton de Kock lbw for 41 as Afghanistan’s bowlers interrupted South Africa’s excellent opening stand of 64-0.
In an upsetting signal ahead of their semi-final, Bavuma’s hamstring affected him during the match when fielding and hitting.
De Kock, who will retire from one-day internationals after this World Cup, surpassed New Zealand’s Rachin Ravindra (565) to retake the competition’s best batting position with 591 runs, comprising four centuries.
The Proteas re-started their pursuit with a third-wicket partnership of 50, but Rashid Khan broke the breakthrough by taking the wicket of Aiden Markram for 25.
When Rashid bowled Heinrich Klaasen for 10, South Africa appeared to be in threat, but Van der Dussen held fast to create partnerships, notably an uninterrupted 65-run stand with Andile Phehlukwayo, who struck the decisive six in an unbroken 39.
Afghanistan’s Early Promise Fades as South Africa Tightens the Grip
Afghanistan had fallen to 116-6 until Azmatullah scored his ODI record to raise the side to a competitive tally. South African pace bowler Gerald Coetzee got four wickets, whereas spinner Keshav Maharaj finished with 2-25.
De Kock’s six wicket-keeping firings tied a World Cup mark shared by Australia’s Adam Gilchrist and Pakistan’s Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran got off to a fast start when Maharaj struck with his first delivery, trapping Gurbaz for 25.
Coetzee dismissed Ibrahim in the following over to put an end to the batting outburst, and Afghanistan fell from 41-0 to 45-3 after Maharaj drew behind for two runs. Afghanistan missed three more wickets and was on the verge of being bowled out in under half its allotted 50 overs, but Azmatullah held strong to complete the innings.
Player of the Game: Rassie van der Dussen
Van der Dussen kept his company on the opposite end, demonstrating what South Africa was lacking in chases: an ability to remain composed. As other batsmen batted fiercely around him, his undefeated 76 was the foundation of South Africa’s innings.
Rassie van der Dussen made 442 runs with a scoring average of 55.25, comprising two centuries and two fifties. He achieved 400 or more points in a series or competition for the first time.
The ‘Player of the Match’ scored his 14th ODI fifty, leading the Proteas to another easy victory.
South Africa v Afghanistan Score
|247/5(47.3 overs)||244(50 overs)|
|The Proteas won by 5 wickets with 15 balls to spare|
The match between South Africa and Afghanistan is unlikely to have any sort of impact on the ICC World Cup 2023 prospects. After dominating six of their past eight games, the Proteas currently sit second in the league’s point standings.
If they are against Australia, they will slide to third place and relinquish their second position. That doesn’t matter since South Africa and Australia are still going to face off in the semi-finals in Kolkata.
Afghanistan undoubtedly had great hopes for this game until the evening before, when the Kiwis destroyed Sri Lanka by five wickets and witnessed a huge boost in their net run rate.
To go beyond the Kiwis and play India in the semi-finals, Afghanistan must overcome the African giants by 438 runs. Although it is achievable it seems somewhat improbable.
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