Cricket World Cup 2023: Afghanistan bow out after loss to South Africa

To have had any chance of making the last four, Afghanistan would have needed to win by 438 runs

By Agencies

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South Africa's Player of the Match Rassie van der Dussen. — AFP
South Africa's Player of the Match Rassie van der Dussen. — AFP

Published: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 9:34 PM

Afghanistan's outside hopes of making the World Cup semifinals ended Friday after being bowled out for 244 against South Africa.

Choosing to bat in Ahmedabad, Afghanistan slipped to 116-6 before Azmatullah Omarzai hit an unbeaten 97 for a competitive total but not enough for the huge victory margin that the team required.

South Africa chased the target quite easily and won by 5 wickets.

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma: "Part of me is dreaming. We want to be back here [in the final]. But Australia are a big hurdle for us to overcome. We will enjoy today, take the learnings and then get our minds set on that game."

To have had any chance of making the last four, Afghanistan would have needed to win by 438 runs.

"We gave a good message to the world in this tournament.," said Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi: "We played big teams and we fought. The Australia game was in our hands, it was a shock that defeat. There was a lot of learning."

South Africa fast bowler Gerald Coetzee took four wickets while spinner Keshav Maharaj returned impressive figures of 2-25 as the Proteas tune-up for their semi-final clash with five-time winners Australia next week.

Quinton de Kock played a key part with his six wicketkeeping dismissals to equal a World Cup record of Australia's Adam Gilchrist (v Namibia - Potchefstroom, 2003) and Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed (v South Africa - Auckland, 2015).

Pakistan, who play England on Saturday, are the only team who can now prevent New Zealand sealing the fourth and last semi-final spot.

However, Pakistan will need to defeat the defending champions by 287 runs to overhaul New Zealand and set-up a semi-final clash with unbeaten hosts India.

Openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran started aggressively before Maharaj struck with his first ball to have Gurbaz caught out for 25.

Coetzee sent back Ibrahim in the next over to check the batting surge and Afghanistan slipped from 41-0 to 45-3 when Maharaj had skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi caught behind for two.

Rahmat Shah attempted to rebuild in a 49-run stand with Azmatullah but fell to fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for 26.

Afghanistan lost two more wickets to be in danger of getting bowled out in less than their quota of 50 overs but Azmatullah stood firm to play out the innings.

He put on key stand with Rashid Khan (14) and then Noor Ahmad (26) to thwart the opposition bowling.

Azmatullah, 23, hit his ODI best but missed out on a ton after he just managed a single run in the final over that ended with a run out.

Afghanistan were in the fray for a final-four spot until their heartbreaking loss to Australia on Tuesday when Glenn Maxwell's one-man rescue mission left them on the fringes.

New Zealand's victory over Sri Lanka on Thursday then pushed them further out of contention and with their run-rate in negative figures, their chances of making the semifinals were bleak.

Brief scores

Ahmedabad

Afghanistan 244 (50 overs): Azmatullah 97* (107); Coetzee 4-44, Maharaj 2-25

South Africa 247-5 (47.3 overs): Van der Dussen 76* (95), De Kock 41 (47); Nabi 2-35

South Africa won by five wickets

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