Afghanistan v SA, Group C, World T20, Barbados May 5, 2010

South Africa end Afghanistan's dream


South Africa 139 for 7 (Kallis 34, Hamid 3-21) beat Afghanistan 80 (M Morkel 4-20, Langeveldt 3-12) by 59 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn delivered Afghanistan a harsh lesson by demolishing them for 80 to end their World Twenty20 dream and hand South Africa a safe path to the Super Eights. There was no mercy from Morkel and Steyn, whose speed and bounce was simply of a standard that Afghanistan had never faced before, and Charl Langeveldt chipped in with three wickets to confirm the result.

The 59-run victory showed the newcomers that, for all their incredible progress over the past couple of years, there is a long way still to go. Afghanistan's spirits were high after their bowling effort, having restricted South Africa to a respectable 139 for 7, but the chase was quickly and comprehensively derailed.

Steyn (2 for 6) beat the bat with his outswing and had Noor Ali caught behind for a duck in the first over, before Morkel ran through the middle order to finish with 4 for 20. The batsmen struggled to react to the quality bowling and especially the short deliveries, and six of the ten dismissals were caught behind the wicket.

That they avoided recording the lowest ever Twenty20 international total was a feat in itself after they were 14 for 6, but the change bowlers proved more to their liking. Mirwais Ashraf gave Afghanistan's fans a few happy moments when he clobbered a monstrous six off Albie Morkel, before Hamid Hassan made a quick 22 from 21 balls, as the lower order cleared the boundary a combined five times.

It was pleasing that Afghanistan fought it out to the end in their first major tournament, but equally appropriate that the eight strongest teams have now progressed to the next stage. There might have been some nervy moments for South Africa at the halfway point - their batsmen had made a strong start and at one stage 180 looked possible - but they need not have worried.

Still, there are some issues for them to address before their next match against New Zealand, notably their scoring rate. Against India, they struggled to judge the tempo of their chase and this time they found it hard to capitalise on a brisk opening in which they raced to 45 for 1 from four overs.

Having struck two healthy sixes over midwicket and long-on off Mirwais in the fourth over, Jacques Kallis soon became tied down and when he tickled a catch down the leg side off Hamid's first ball he had 34 off 33. Hamid was the best of the bowlers for Afghanistan, fast and straight, and finished with 3 for 21 including the lbw of Mark Boucher and JP Duminy, who was wonderfully caught at cover by Nowroz Mangal.

Afghanistan's fielding was sharp, if not always clean, and they began with the snappy run-out of Loots Bosman, caught short by a Shapoor Zadran throw from fine leg. Graeme Smith's quick 27 ended with a skied catch from the second ball of Mohammad Nabi's spin, and the legbreaks of Samiullah were impressively economical.

AB de Villiers cleared long-off against Nowroz and crashed a ball into the windows of the press box, but soon afterwards he was beaten by the same bowler and stumped for 17. There were some late runs from Albie Morkel and Duminy that helped South Africa avoid some blushes having been 90 for 5, and the opening bowler Zadran returned for a wicket in the final over.

It was an appropriate reward for Zadran, who started the match with a wonderful bouncing outswinger that comprehensively beat the bat of Smith. Unfortunately for Afghanistan, Steyn and Morne Morkel had a few of those up their sleeves as well.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2010, 22:45 GMT

    since they have acheived odi status they could be included for the forthcoming asia cup ?? your thoughts ?

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    Afghanistan has more than 30 years of war and we must accept and be proud to have such a strong team. As it was said on Aljazeera, our players do not have wages, push houses, push life but they are strung and are able to play against Top Cricket teams. They are playing for our country AFGHANISTAN and they are PROUD TO BE AFGHAN. They played against India and lost only with 7 runs which is perfect for a new cricket team. We must support our team and be proud of them. They are our hero's. Well done guys.

  • Ryan on May 6, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    I was most impressed by the attitude of the Afghanistan team. They were never overawed, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the occasion... They bowled and fielded very well, and to make 80 after being 6 down for only 14 runs shows great spirit. Well done!

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    what a performance from our team. it was not a defeat. i only couldnt undrestand why hamid hassan was sent so late for attack. and the tiger showed AGAIN that he is awsome. good news is that ipl has approached ACB. i was watching it live and hamids ball attack and his boundries were awsome. was not expecting 2 sixes from him but he placed the ball well.

  • Varadharajan on May 6, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    The legspinner was a real treat.. Beating Kallis with a perfect legspinning delivery was the ball of the innings.

  • Vinod on May 6, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    As an Indian it gives me immense pleasure to see the Afghan team perform so well. I think the timeframe in which they will get parity with other teams will surprise everybody. We should all support the development of cricket in Afghanistan.

  • Ubuso on May 6, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    A clinical perfomance from SA but welldone Afghans for a great perfomance. I'm sure your experiance at this level will go a long way in developing cricket in your country. Hoped for an upset from one of the minnows especially after their good perfomances in during the warm up matches, ZIm, Afghan, Ire..

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    Afghanistan proved that they can play in any conditions, the overall performance of Afghanistan cricket team againts India and South Africa was great, but we all know that this was their second match againts such top team. It was a great experience for Afghanistan cricket team. Wishing Afghanistan Cricket team to touch peak of the success in future matches.

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    exactly, no body expected a win not me being as an afghan but if you look at the match statistics regardless of the game we lost. but the facts were

    our bowler never given a no ball on this match and only 6 extras while south africa has given 2 no balls and 11 extras which makes a big difference in a t20 match. the fielding was match match butter as well the bowling was disciplined and over all performance was much better considering they were playing the first match against such a champ team.

    may they get more chances in the future to play against top teams i am sure we can all see them amongst top 8 teams in the world.

  • Dummy4 on May 6, 2010, 8:29 GMT

    Looking at lowest score in world cricket both in T20 and ODI with Pakistan 43 for 10, India 54 for 10 and Sri Lanka 55 for 10, Afghanistan well deserves an applaud making 80 in 15 overs. That's been a piece of great performance. Lowest T20 score is of Ireland 67 for 10. Comparing facilities that other teams have with that of Afghanistan, Afghan players are still promising.

    By playing just few matches with such teams on such grounds, Afghanistan will surely be able to beat stronger teams and chase high scores.

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