Cardiff, Jun 15:
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir snared four wickets to trigger Afghanistan’s dramatic batting collapse as South Africa bundled them out for 125 in yet another rain-affected World Cup match here Saturday.
Sent into bat, Afghanistan were slow and steady to reach 69 for 2 at the end of the 20th over when rain came for the second time and when play resumed after a break of one hour, they lost four quick wickets for the addition of just eight runs.
They were reduced to 77 for 7 in the 26th over, losing five wickets in the space of 4.4 overs.
Earlier, the Afghanistan innings was also halted for 25 minutes in the sixth over due to rains. After the second rain interruption, the match was reduced to a 48-over side.
The Afghans did not even last the full 48 overs as they were shot out in 34.1 overs.
South Africa will now chase 127 from 48 overs to get their first win in the tournament after the target was revised under Duckworth/Lewis method.
Chris Morris chipped in with three wickets while his pace colleagues Andile Phehlukwayo and Kagiso Rabada took two and one wicket respectively as the Afghans gave little fight against the Proteas.
Phehlukwayo removed a struggling Hashmatullah Shahidi (8 off 22 balls) in the fourth ball after the long rain interruption before Tahir took two wickets in the next over, dismissing well-set Noor Ali Zadran (32 off 58 balls) and Asghar Afghan (0) in the space of five deliveries.
Phehlukwayo then had Mohammad Nabi (1) in the next over — 23rd — before Tahir got his third wicket of the day in the 26th over in the form of captain Gulbadin Naib (5) to leave Afghanistan innings in disarray.
After a competition among Afghan batsmen to return to the dressing room, it was number 9 and top-scorer Rashid Khan, who delayed the end of Afghan innings and take them past 100-mark with a 25-ball 35 but his late fight was too little too late.
He stitched a 34-run stand with wicketkeeper Ikram Alikhil (9 off 33 balls) for the eighth wicket before he was out in the 34th over. PTI