CWC 2023, South Africa vs Afghanistan: Azmatullah Omarzai’s 97*(107), Gerald Coetzee’s 4-44, and Rassie van der Dussen's 76* are top performances. South Africa beat Afghanistan by 5 wickets and stay in second position with a healthy NRR of 1.261.
Brief scores- South Africa 247/5 (Rassie van der Dussen 76*, Quinton de Kock 41, Nabi 2-35, beat Afghanistan 244/10 (Omarzai 97*, Noor Ahmed 26, Coetzee 4-44) by five wickets.
Player Of The Match- Rassie van der Dussen 76*
South Africa returned to winning ways after a horrific defeat against India in their previous encounter and clinched victory against Afghanistan by five wickets in the 42nd match of CWC 2023 played at Narendra Modi stadium. At one stage, it felt like South Africa would falter again in the run chase, which isn’t their strong domain in the ongoing CWC 2023, as they lost two of their matches while chasing and evaded a possible hattrick of defeats in a chasing cause courtesy of a responsible knock from Rassie and some final overs swift finishing by Phehlukwayo after he started slow.
Talking Point from South Africa vs Afghanistan
South Africa chasing and finishing games ahead of Knock out biggest positive
South Africa has displayed dominance when batting first, amassing five scores exceeding 300 in the ongoing CWC 2023, a feat unmatched by any other team. They even posted a remarkable 400+ score and effectively defended these imposing totals. However, their fortunes took a downturn when tasked with chasing targets. In stark contrast, South Africa struggled to lose wickets regularly and forge impactful partnerships. This weakness was evident in their shocking loss to the lower-ranked Netherlands while pursuing a modest target of 245.
Facing Pakistan, South Africa faced a target of 271, but they lost 9 wickets in their pursuit, narrowly securing a solitary-wicket victory, highlighting their difficulties when chasing. Their ordeal continued when India decimated them, who thrashed them by 243 runs while pursuing a colossal 326-run total on a challenging pitch.
Their final round-robin match against Afghanistan saw South Africa grappling with their perennial middle-overs wicket loss dilemma. Rassie, however, took responsibility and guided the team to victory, exercising caution and composure. Phehlukwayo's crucial late overs contribution ensured a smooth victory, preventing any last-minute upsets by Afghanistan's spin trio. This crucial win, while chasing just before the semi-final stage, will boost South Africa's morale, instilling confidence as they head into the semi-finals with renewed determination to assert their dominance.
Top Three Performances from South Africa vs Afghanistan, CWC 2023
Omarzai’s 97 helped Afghanistan post a good total
Afghanistan didn’t start well while batting first, losing their openers Gurbaaz and Zadran within powerplay overs on a scoreline of 41. Wickets kept falling regularly, and Proteas bowlers were all over Afghani batters. A stage reached where Afghanistan was reeling at 116/6, and 200 looked improbable. Azmatullah Omarzai came in at 5 and scored a sensible knock of 97*(107) to bail Afghanistan out of a below-200 score. He ensured himself to be a dependable batter at the main end, stitching some significant partnerships when wickets kept falling at the other end and ensuring that Afghanistan played a full quota of 50 overs. His innings were laced with 7 fours and 3 sixes, which ensured he wasn’t afraid to take the risky shots to take Afghanistan to a respectable scoreline even when there weren’t many wickets left for them.
Coetzee’s 4-44 bereft Afghanistan of putting on a huge total
While bowling his first spell, Gerald Coetzee claimed an important wicket in the previous match, the Afghan centurion against Australia Ibrahim Zadran. He also dismissed Ikram Alikhil in the middle overs. He claimed the wickets of Noor Ahmed and Mujeeb ur Rehman in the final overs to ensure Afghanistan doesn’t post a highly competitive score on this pitch. What’s evident from Coetzee’s bowling spell is that at whichever stage of the game he has bowled, he has claimed wickets to his name, which shows his consistency with his line and length in each bowling spell.
Rassie van der Dissent took South Africa Home
South Africa have lost both their games in the ongoing ODI WC while chasing against the Netherlands, which was nothing less than a shocker and India, respectively. Again when it looked like the Proteas were stuttering in the chase, Rassie van der Dussen held the fort at one end and made sure that there was no further upset towards the fag end of the tournament to hurt its momentum in the ultimate semi-finals. He scored a valuable 76* to help South Africa seal the deal with the victory. His cautious approach while chasing ensured South Africa didn’t lose wickets to take them far away from the victory.
He stitched some significant partnerships with David Miller and Andile Phehlukwayo to take South Africa home; he crafted his innings running 1’s and 2’s, respected the good balls, and relied mostly on ground shots, which showed minimal risk-taking while South Africa was embroiled in a tricky situation losing 4 wickets on a score of 139 with not many batters left at the other end.
Statistical highlights from Afghanistan vs South Africa, CWC 2023
Gerald Coetzee registered his best figures (4-44) in ODIs.
With the wicket of Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Keshav Maharaj picked his 50th scalp in ODIs.
Azmatullah Omarzai registered Afghanistan's second-highest individual score (97*) in ODI WC.
Most wickets in a single WC edition for SA 18 – Gerald Coetzee (2023) 17 – Lance Klusener (1999) 17 – Morne Morkel (2015) 17 – Marco Jansen (2023) 16 – Allan Donald (1999)
Most wicketkeeping dismissals in a World Cup match 6 – Adam Gilchrist (AUS) vs NAM, Potchefstroom, 2003 6 – Sarfaraz Ahmed (PAK) vs SA, Auckland, 2015 6 – Quinton de Kock (SA) vs AFG, Ahmedabad, 2023
Quinton De Kock now has 500+ international catches across formats today.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Points Table
Points table scenario & what’s next
With the wicket win over Afghanistan, South Africa remains in second position in the points table, and it was their final match in the round-robin leg of the tournament. They will now face Australia in the second semi-final on 16th November in the historic Eden Gardens at Kolkata. Afghanistan have been knocked out of CWC 2023, but their recent performance in the ODI WC has ensured them a historic first-time Champions Trophy berth.