13 Nov PROTEAS BEAT AFGHANISTAN IN FINAL POOL GAME
AHMEDABAD: A career-best four-for by Gerald Coetzee followed by an unbeaten Rassie van der Dussen half-century helped the Proteas complete the league phase of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup with a five-wicket win over Afghanistan in Ahmedabad on Friday.
Fast bowler Coetzee was in fiery mood as he claimed four for 44 in 10 overs, playing a pivotal role in restricting Afghanistan to 244 all out after they had won the toss and batted first at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Although South Africa lost five wickets, they were always in control and Van der Dussen (76* off 95 balls, 6 fours, 1 six) and Andile Phehlukwayo (39* off 37 balls) shared an unbroken 65-run stand to carry them to victory with 15 deliveries to spare.
The result was the perfect reaction for Rob Walter’s side after their big loss to hosts India in the previous game. It also ensured they made it seven wins out of nine as they jumped to second on the table and they will now go into next week’s semi-final against Australia full of confidence.
They were full value for the win thanks to an assured performance with the ball with only Azmatullah Omarzai (97* off 107 balls, 7 fours, 3 sixes) really troubling them.
World Cup debutant Coetzee lead the way, supported brilliantly by Keshav Maharaj (2/25), who removed two of the top four in Rahmanullah Gurbaz (25) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (2).
Ibrahim Zadran (15) was dismissed by the former leaving Afghanistan on 45 for three. Although Omarzai tried to rebuild, the Proteas kept chipping away to reduce their opponents to 116 for six.
Rashid Khan (14) and Noor Ahmad (26) at least helped Afghanistan get to a respectable total when they were eventually bowled out in the final over.
Amongst the other bowlers, Kagiso Rabada (0/40) and Phehlukwayo (1/36) also impressed.
South Africa made a strong start to the reply by racing to 64 for none in the 11th over when captain Temba Bavuma fell for 23.
Quinton de Kock was trapped leg before wicket for 41 by Mohammad Nabi (2/35) two runs later. However, a 50-run stand between Aiden Markram (25) and Van der Dussen put the run chase back on track.
There was another slight wobble when both Markram and Heinrich Klaasen (10) fell in quick succession to Rashid Khan (2/37)
But David Miller (24) and the sixth-wicket pair eased all nerves by taking their side home for confidence-boosting win.
Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications
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