Sunday, March 20, 2016

World Cup T20 : South Africa vs Afghanistan

At Wankhade Stadium, Mumbai once again, it was South Africa taking on minnows Afghanistan & having won the toss they decided to bat....an obvious decision, keeping in mind that they have to improve the run rate.
Though Amla, failed this time, de Kock was at his sublime best, getting 45 in just 31 deliveries. After that, it was a run fest all the way, with Faf du Plessis & de Villiers going hammer & tongs.  The 17th over was a treat, as ABD hit four sixes & got 29 runs off Rashid Khan, to deflate the Afghani attack. Eventually Faf got 41 off 27 balls & ABD making a superb 64 off just 29 deliveries. In the death, Duminy & Miller continued with what is expected of them, & eventually the Proteas once again put up a 200+ score on the board, with Duminy hitting a massive six off the last ball. For the Proteas, it would be imprtant for their top order to fire along with the middle order,as that is their apparant strength.
It was expected of the Proteas to bat well & put up a huge total, ending at 209 off their 20 overs, but what was important is for their bowlers now to follow up with some tidy line, length & wickets.
Afghanistan however started their reply in style, with Shahzad hitting Rabada for a six & four to post 11 runs off the very first over. The fearless blitzkrieg continued in the 2nd over too as Shahzad blew Abbott for 22 runs, including 3 sixes & a four !!!....simply unbelievable. The carnage continued in the 3rd over as well & Afghanistan were 47 for no loss at the end of 3rd over. Most of deliveries were short pitched juicy balls, egging to be hit. Looked like the SA bowlers were still smarting under the Roy & Root demolition by England the other day. The bowling looked helpless & listless, as Faf was already creasing his temples. He turned into Morris, who bowled sensibly enough, & while 50 run mark came up, he bowled the dangerous Shahzad, who got a fabulous 44 off just 19 balls. In came Asghar, but he too was consumed by Morris, caught behind, as the score reached 64 for 2 after the end of power players, with both the dangerous batsmen, Shahzad & Asghar back in the dugout.
But barring Morris & Tahir, every other bowler was surprisingly wayward, giving away easy runs, & with Duminy back in the dugout with a probably hamstring injury, it was bowling woes once again for the Proteas. The next batsmen, Noor Ali & Gulbadin, kept the tempo up, as the 100 came up in the 10th over....match very much on. At the end of 15 overs it was 140 for 4, a steady fight by the Afghanis. However, losing three quick wickets, put brakes in the scoring as the total limped to 158 for 7. Eventually the innings ended at 172 all out, & Proteas clock their first win for 37 runs. It was a pretty good effort by the Afghanis, & they would surely take heart for this performance. A lot of positives for them to lay the foundation for future.
With Wiese going for more than 11 per over, & Abbott & Rabada( he was good only in the last over of the match, giving just 3 runs), too going for plenty, it obviously is a worry sign for the Proteas, as they move into tougher games ahead. They have bowled far too many loose deliveries & bled runs, which needs to stop, if they were to progress in this tournament. Chris Morris looked sharp with figures of 4 for 27 (Man of the Match), & Tahir looked good as usual with 2 for 24. They certainly need to tighten their game for better results against the Windies & Sri Lanka.


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