Noone would have thought of this kind of headline for a South Africa match that too against Afghanistan. However, that’s how it is in the current world cup scenario South Africa is just ahead of Afghanistan thanks to one point they got due to the rain against West Indies. This will be the first time these two teams play against each other in ODIs.
So far, this has been the most disastrous World Cup campaign for South Africa. Having lost the first three games, now going to face Afghanistan in a match where there is a possibility of rain throughout the day and they can’t afford another washout.
Hoping for a full match but the weather at Cardiff is expected to have a good amount of rain in the first half of the day and then passing shower during the second half, but this is a day-night match and it will start a little late. So South Africa still has a chance for a result.
South Africa is desperately looking for a win, and they are playing against the weakest team of this world cup. Their shocking performance has already let down their fans around the world. If they cannot produce a positive result in their favour then it will be bye bye for them from the World Cup.
It’s high time for them to play as a team and leave everything behind. Take one game at a time and treat every match as a knockout. They have the capability of performing, and they cannot have a better opposition to get back in form.
Afghanistan had a chance to win against Sri Lanka in the first game but lost that opportunity. Since then they look like just a traveller and have been very inconsistent in the tournament. This is mostly because they are a very young team. However, they should try to beat South Africa as the Proteas are not in great form. Afghanistan is having a problem with its star player Rashid Khan, who has not able to deliver as per his capability. If he can uplift the mood of the team with his all-around performance, there would be high chances of Afghanistan providing the biggest upset of recent times in cricket.
Players to watch out for
Rabada must be waiting to have a go at Afghanistan batsmen, with his kind of pace he can easily outdo the Afghans, and that will help South Africa not only in winning the match but also maintaining a reasonable run rate. Rabada would be excepting some help from the prime spinner Tahir from the other end.
Najibullah is in form for Afghanistan. He has to cope with all the pressure and perform because others are not able to score. Afghanistan has a chance to put up a decent score on board only if he scores some runs today as well, and Najibullah would be hoping to get some support from others as well.
Afghanistan v South Africa in ODIs
Overall: Matches 0, Afghanistan 0, South Africa Won 0
World Cup: Matches 0, Afghanistan Won 0, South Africa Won 0
Recent Form (most recent first): Afghanistan L L L W L, South Africa NR L L L W
ICC Rankings: Afganistan (10), South Africa (4)
Hasmatullah Shahidi needs 54 more for 1000 Runs in ODIs, he will be the 9th Afghani player to reach the milestone.
Hashim Amla has scored 7,935 runs and needs 65 more to become the fourth South African player to reach the 8,000 runs milestone.
JP Duminy has scored 444 runs in World Cup and needs 56 more to become the ninth South African player to reach the 500 runs milestone in World Cup.
Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib (capt), Aftab Alam, Asghar Afghan, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shinwari.
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Beuran Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen.