Cardiff, June 16 (IANS) South Africa finally tasted a win in their World Cup 2019 campaign as after three losses and a match being abandoned due to rain, the Proteas hammered minnows Afghanistan by nine wickets at the Sophia Gardens and skipper Faf du Plessis credited his bowlers, especially Imran Tahir for the much-needed win.
It was the South African bowlers who came all gun blazing to wrap up their opponents at a paltry 125 runs in another rain-hit contest. Tahir was the pick of the bowlers with a decent figure of 4/29 while Chris Morris also scalped three wickets for just 13 runs.
Speaking after the match, an elated du Plessis said: “Today was a good day for us. We spoke a lot about it and today we were good. Given the nature of the wicket, conducive for seam bowlers, it would have been a challenge. It was important to get a good start, the wicket was not very conducive to spin.”
Praising his bowlers, the South Africa skipper said: “Morris and Tahir were fantastic in the middle overs as they got wickets. He (Tahir) has single-handedly made us a strong team in the last two years with his ability to take wickets in the middle overs.”
Du PLessis however, also noted that in order to be in race for the knockouts, South Africa not only needs to win each game but also a decent net run rate by his batsmen.
“It was important for (Hashim) Amla to get amongst the runs, he will be important for us in the upcoming games. In the next four games, net run rate is not going to play a massive role if you win those games. So we need Amla to score runs for us, hence he needed a not-out innings today,” he pointed out.
While chasing the meagre target, it was Amla and Quinton de Kock, who single-handedly helped the Proteas cross the line in 28.4 overs. While De Kock played a 68-run knock, Amla also chipped in with 41 runs.
South Africa will now face New Zealand on June 19 while Afghanistan will take on hosts England a day before.