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Proteas come good against Afghanistan

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South Africa skittled Afghanistan for 125 to set up a crushing nine-wicket win in Cardiff on Saturday.

The early exchanges were cautious, with Afghanistan progressing slowly to 69/2 by the end of the 20th over. Each came into the game without a win in the competition so far, and perhaps wary of slipping up again.

At that point, the match was delayed by rain for the second time, and when the hostilities resumed, the Proteas pounced, striking four times in 13 balls for the addition of a solitary run after the resumption.

Imran Tahir was the destroyer-in-chief, striking with his first ball – a pitch-perfect googly which castled Noor Ali Zadran – and finishing with four wickets. Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo also bowled economically and shared five scalps between them.

Rashid Khan swung his bat around towards the end of the innings, top-scoring with 35 off 25, and with the interruptions reducing the contest to 48 overs a side, the DLS method left South Africa needing 127 to win.

Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock began slowly, knowing they had time to get themselves in. Only one boundary came in the first six overs, in which they scored just 15 runs, but once de Kock drove Aftab Alam through extra cover, the trickle turned into a flow.

De Kock brought up his half-century off 58 balls but was caught at mid-wicket for 68. Amla ended unbeaten on 41 and Phehlukwayo on 17 as South Africa reached their target with nine wickets and 116 balls to spare, giving their net run rate a healthy boost, and perhaps, getting their Cricket World Cup campaign on track.

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