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Phangiso's three-for sets up crushing win

Aaron Phangiso makes an appeal for lbw AFP

Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso scythed through Afghanistan A's top-order with 3 for 39 in 10 overs to set up South Africa A's dominant seven-wicket win, with 80 balls to spare, in the sixth and final round-robin match of the triangular series in Pretoria. After taking out Ihsanullah and Younas Ahmadzai early in their innings, Phangiso snuffed out Usman Ghani, the opener, who had laid a decent platform through a 61-ball half-century. With not much of note to follow from the rest of the order, Afghanistan limped to 202 for 9 in 50 overs.

They were then razed early in the chase by Henry Davids and Reeza Hendricks, the openers, who put together 88 in 13.3 overs. South Africa did not look back from there, running down the target in 36.4 overs, Khaya Zondo, their captain, and Farhaan Behardien finishing it off with unbeaten thirties.

Phangiso broke through for South Africa by pinging the pad of Ihsanullah, who had played second fiddle to Ghani in an opening stand of 45 to which he contributed just 14. Ahmadzai was cleaned up in the bowler's next over, after which Rahmat Shah tried to steady Afghanistan with a 41-run third-wicket stand. It ended when Ghani was caught by Dwaine Pretorius for 54 in his attempt to clear long-off.

South Africa kept chipping away thereafter, never allowing a partnership to flourish. By the time Rahmat was dismissed, for 32, Afghanistan had lost half their side with 131 on the board. Najibullah Zadran launched Phangiso for a couple of sixes in the 43rd over, but a run out in the next over made sure the burst was a short-lived one. He had made 28 off 32 balls with the help of two sixes. Yamin Ahmadzai hauled Afghanistan past 200 with an unbeaten 14, but it ended being a scant total.

Each of the five bowlers used by South Africa contributed to the wickets column. Phangiso's three were complemented by Junior Dala's 2 for 42, while Dane Paterson, Pretorius and Tabraiz Shamsi took a wicket each.

Davids was the early aggressor for South Africa, racing to 25 off 23 balls, before Hendricks joined in with a six and a four off Ahmadzai in the seventh over. Another six off the same bowler by him brought up South Africa's fifty in the ninth over.

By the time Davids was dismissed for 41 by Najibullah Zadran, Hendricks had overtaken him. He went on to make 76 at a run a ball. Rahmat Shah ended his stay by bowling him just after the halfway mark, but then South Africa needed just 58 more, which Zondo and Behardien knocked off with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand.