12.30 am: South Africa defeat Afghanistan by 9 wickets to get their first win of the World Cup. Hashim Amla remains not out on 41 off 83. Thanks for joining us. As you go to sleep, hope and pray for a full match in Manchester on Sunday. It’s India vs Pakistan time!
After 28.4 overs, South Africa 131/1 - Proteas win by 9 wickets
Phew. That’s that, then. What a bizarre run-chase by South Africa. An absolute drag of a contest in Cardiff, as the World Cup bandwagon moves out of the Welsh city. Phelukwayo, one ball after being booed for a defensive stroke, hits a six down the ground to finish things off.
After 27 overs, South Africa 124/1 - Amla 40, Phehlukwayo 11
The umpire seems to be taking matters into his own hands as he gives wide to a ball that brushed Andille’s pads. MORE DOT BALLS IN THAT OVER! Just two runs off the bat, as even Aftab Alam has a laugh at the end.
After 27 overs, South Africa 121/1 - Amla 39, Phehlukwayo 11
Three runs off Nabi’s over. That is all.
After 26 overs, South Africa 118/1 - Amla 37, Phehlukwayo 10
Andille! He’s doing what he was sent out to... swinging freely against Rashid Khan, gets two boundaries. One in the leg side, one through covers. Just 9 needed now.
After 25 overs, South Africa 108/1 - Amla 36, Phehlukwayo 1
Cannot believe Amla is making fans out of live bloggers for his innings around the world. Batting on 36 off 73 balls. Just 2 runs off Nabi’s over.
After 24 overs, South Africa 106/1 - Amla 35, Phehlukwayo 0
Phehlukwayo tries to reverse sweep Rashid but is not successful. More defending from Amla. Could someone finish this off quickly please?
After 22.5 overs, South Africa 105/1 - QdK gone!
A wicket finally for Afghans fans to celebrate. After hitting a four past fine leg, Qdk tries to flick one in front of square. He timed it well alright but Nabi takes a superb catch with the sun on his face. Captain Naib gets a wicket.
Phehlukwayo comes on to bat, perhaps to hit a few lusty blows.
Qdk c Nabi b Naib 68 (72)
After 22 overs, South Africa 99/0 - (Amla 33, de Kock 64)
More misfielding and overthrowing from Afghanistan... it’s unfortunate but their campaign is starting to unravel with every passing match. Four runs each from Naib and Nabi’s overs. SA need 28 off 26 more overs.
After 20 overs, South Africa 91/0 - (Amla 30, de Kock 60)
DRINK IN CARDIFF: Amla resorting to more un-Amla-esque shots, this time an unique looking sweep for another boundary. Should be a mere formality now, with 36 runs required from 28 overs.
After 19 overs, South Africa 86/0 - (Amla 26, de Kock 59)
Amla gets innovative against Nabi and plays a reverse sweep for four. Then Naib is left frustrated yet again by poor fielding in the deep, as QdK is gifted a boundary.
After 17 overs, South Africa 73/0 - FIFTY FOR QdK!
QdK takes the attack to Rashid Khan again, starts and finishes the over with a boundary... 10 runs from it. South Africa have upped the ante and cruising towards the target.
After 16 overs, South Africa 63/0 (Amla 19, de Kock 43)
Nabi comes on and bowls a lovely over. There was a ball from around the wicket to de Kock that was flighted, drifted in and went with the angle. The batsman has an appreciative smile on his face. Superb ball. Meanwhile, Amla has faced one more ball than the runs de Kock has scored.
After 15 overs, South Africa 62/0 (Amla 19, de Kock 42)
Qdk definitely is trying to up the ante with Amla struggling at the other end. The left-hander helps himself a couple of doubles. Five from that Rashid over.
After 14 overs, South Africa 57/0 (Amla 19, de Kock 37)
Hashim Amla is batting on 19 off 42 balls. There have been days when Amla has made jaws drop with the sheer textbook nature of his batting...today is not one of them. Four easy singles in that over though, as Afghanistan let things drift.
After 13 overs, South Africa 53/0 (Amla 17, de Kock 35)
Good over for the Proteas, as there is a definite urgency to their approach now. After Amla is beaten outside offstump early in the over, QdK finishes it off with a cut past short-third man. Rashid had fired that in, de Kock just helped it along the way. 50 comes up for South Africa.
After 12 overs, South Africa 45/0 (Amla 16, de Kock 28)
There is yet another five-run over... Naib concedes a double to QdK off the first ball (slower one) and then there are three singles later on. All a bit too easy for SA at the moment, as the match meanders.
After 11 overs, South Africa 40/0 (Amla 15, de Kock 24)
Third consecutive five-run over for South Africa as their run-rate picks up steadily. Rashid not getting any significant purchase on a pitch where Tahir looked like taking a wicket most balls.
After 10 overs, South Africa 35/0 (Amla 14, de Kock 20)
Comedy moment in that over as Asghar makes a complete meal of a fielding attempt at third man. New captain Naib not happy with the old captain’s effort. Streaky boundary for QdK as five runs come of Naib’s first over. Amla continues to look tentative against the short-of-length deliveries.
(Honestly, a very ordinary powerplay for South Africa comes to an end)
After 9 overs, South Africa 30/0 (Amla 14, de Kock 15)
QdK welcomes Rashid Khan into the attack with a boundary. Poor delivery, punished through the leg side. Rashid finds his radar after that. Five runs from that over.
After 8 overs, South Africa 25/0 (Amla 14, de Kock 10)
Shot! Hashim Amla gets a much-needed boundary as he drives a full delivery from Hamid Hassan to the long-on fence. Afghanistan are doing the right thing and bringing Rashid Khan into the attack.
After 7 overs, South Africa 19/0 (Amla 9, de Kock 9)
Quinton de Kock stops Afghanistan from getting back-to-back maidens. Aftab Alam bowls five dot balls but pitches the last one full and wide, the left-hander leans in and plays a cover-drive to pick up his first boundary. Runs are hard to come by for the South African openers at the moment.
After 6 overs, South Africa 15/0 (Amla 9, de Kock 5)
Hashim Amla is struggling at the moment. He plays out a maiden over against Hamid Hassan but that’s not the problem. What’s worrying for the South Africans is that the veteran right-hander is late on almost every delivery. At his best, he used to tear apart bowlers with such average pace. He’s far from that as of now.
After 5 overs, South Africa 15/0 (Amla 9, de Kock 5)
Hashim Amla survives! Well, it wasn’t that close. Aftab Alam wraps the right-hander on his pads but the umpire says not out. Afghanistan take DRS and it shows that the ball was missing leg. The review is lost.
After 4 overs, South Africa 11/0 (Amla 6, de Kock 4)
Hashim Amla is playing well within himself at the moment. South Africa have a short chase ahead of them but they must consider net run-rate. They’re second-last on the points table right now. Three singles come from Hamid Hassan’s second over.
After 3 overs, South Africa 8/0 (Amla 5, de Kock 2)
Four! Aftab Alam gets one to jag back in and Hashim Amla gets an inside edge that runs down to the fine-leg fence. Five runs come from that over.
After 2 overs, South Africa 3/0 (Amla 1, de Kock 1)
Another good over for Afghanistan as Hassan extracts some extra bounce. Amla gets off the mark with a single down to third man. Confusion between the batsmen at the end of that over but they manage to steal a single. QdK off the mark as well.
After 1 over, South Africa 1/0 (Amla 0, de Kock 0)
Aftab Alam starts with a maiden over to his name, just a leg bye in that over. Good lengths from the Afghan medium-pacer.
10.39 pm: In Cardiff, the Afghanistan players are out in the middle. Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock are opening the batting and both of them would dearly love to get some runs under their belt.
10.36 pm: At The Oval, Sri Lanka all out for 247. Australia win by 87 runs. Just under an hour back, it felt like we had a thrilling match on our hands. Mitchell Starc had other ideas.
To find out how that match unfolded, head here.
Imran Tahir, after yet another four-wicket haul at the World Cup: “I think we knew it was going to be an on-and-off game. Bowling to Rashid was a good challenge, but finally I got him. Of course, we had a tough start to the World Cup but we have played good cricket in the previous few years.”
(Quotes courtesy ESPNCricinfo)
INNINGS BREAK: After Duckworth Lewis Stern adjustment, South Africa will need 127 in 48 overs
After 34.1 overs, Afghanistan are 125 all out!
Chris Morris has his third wicket of the match as Hamid Hassan skies one to Faf du Plessis, who is a happy captain at the moment. The first win should be a formality now you’d think. Disappointing collapse from Afghanistan who were 69/2 when rain interrupted play for the 2nd time.
After 33.5 overs, Afghanistan are 125/9 - Tahir strikes again!
More Tahir-esque celebrations in Cardiff... Rashid Khan’s cameo comes to an end as he goes for one big shot too many. After scoring 4, 4, 2, 4 off the first five balls of the over, Rashid finds van der Dussen at the deep.
Rashid c vdD b Tahir 35 (25)
10.02 pm: Starc has stunned Sri Lanka at The Oval, meanwhile...
For updates of the World Cup match between Australia and Sri Lanka, head here.
After 32.4 overs, Afghanistan are 111/8 – Rashid 21
WICKET! Chris Morris returns to the attack and strikes immediately. The right-arm pacer angles one away from Ikram Ali Khil and the left-hander edges it to Hashim Amla at first slip.
Ikram c Amla b Morris 9 (33)
After 32 overs, Afghanistan are 111/7 – Ikram 9, Rashid 21
Decent over for Afghanistan, six runs from it. Imran Tahir is bowling with a considerably amount of pace. Rashid Khan is timing the ball rather well. This has been a nice little partnership for the Afghans.
After 31 overs, Afghanistan are 105/7 – Ikram 7, Rashid 17
More bad news for Afghanistan as Rashid Khan is struck on his fingers by a Kagiso Rabada short ball that climbed on him. The leg-spinner looks to be in pain. Hope it’s nothing serious. Just one run comes from that over.
After 30 overs, Afghanistan are 104/7 – Ikram 7, Rashid 16
Two singles from Rashid Khan’s fifth over. The leg-spinner is operating at a rapid pace. Rashid Khan is constantly looking for runs. Good approach.
After 29 overs, Afghanistan are 102/7 – Ikram 6, Rashid 15
Wattey shot! Hundred up for Afghanistan with a boundary from Rashid Khan. Rabada, after bowling successive wides, pitches one on a length to Rashid, the-right-hander takes his front leg out and thumps it over mid-off for four. Super shot. Faf’s decision to remove Phehlukwayo and get Rabada on wasn’t the best.
After 28 overs, Afghanistan are 95/7 – Ikram 5, Rashid 11
Another good over for Afghanistan, seven runs come from it. Rashid Khan attempts a sweep against Imran Tahir, the ball hits his waist and flies past Hashim Amla at slip for a four.
After 27 overs, Afghanistan are 88/7 – Ikram 3, Rashid 10
Back-to-back boundaries! Rabada pitches it slightly up and Rashid plays a brilliant straight-drive for four. He then gets an inside edge that runs away to the fine-leg fence. Good over for the Afghans, ten runs from it.
After 26 overs, Afghanistan are 78/7 – Ikram 2, Rashid 1
Imran Tahir’s figures at the moment: 3 wickets for 4 runs from 3 overs.
Rashid Khan is the new man at the crease as South African captain Faf du Plessis brings Kagiso Rabada on to close out the innings.
After 25.2 overs, Afghanistan are 77/7 – Ikram 2
WICKET! Aaand another one bites the dust! Imran Tahir gets his third. The leg-spinner drops it short but Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib can’t pull it away. The right-hander hits it towards mid-wicket and Aiden Markram takes a good diving catch.
Naib c Markram b Tahir 5 (11)
After 25 overs, Afghanistan are 77/6 – Ikram 2, Naib 5
Phehlukwayo is bowling with wonderful rhythm right now. He has figures of 2/18 from 8 overs.
After 24 overs, Afghanistan are 75/6 – Ikram 1, Naib 4
Another good over from Imran Tahir, just two singles from it. There’s not much the Afghan batsmen can do at the moment. It’s all about survival.
After 23 overs, Afghanistan are 73/6 – Ikram 0, Naib 3
Sequence after restart of play: 0 0 0 W 0 0 W 1 0 0 W 0 W
Afghanistan have captain Gulbadin Naib and wicketkeeper Ikram Ali khil at the crease at the moment. This has been the most sensational collapse of this year’s World Cup.
After 22.1 overs, Afghanistan are 70/6
WICKET! These are absolutely unbelievable scenes at Cardiff right now. Afghanistan have lost ANOTHER wicket. They have lost four wickets for one run in 10 deliveries. This time Mohammad Nabi drags one on from Phehlukwayo.
Nabi b Phehlukwayo 1 (2)
After 21.5 overs, Afghanistan are 70/5 – Nabi 1
WICKET! What. Is. Happening?! Imran Tahir has another wicket in his first over. This time it’s the former captain Asghar Afghan who ends up giving a simple return catch to the leg-spinner. And Tahir is off running!
Asghar c&b Tahir 0 (5)
After 21.1 overs, Afghanistan are 69/4 – Asghar 0
WICKET! Imran Tahir bowls an absolute beauty to get rid of Noor Ali Zadran! The leg-spinner delivers the perfect googly in his first ball and the right-hander is beaten all ends up. Afghanistan have lost two wickets without adding a run after the rain delay.
Zadran b Tahir 32 (58)
After 20.4 overs, Afghanistan are 69/3 – Zadran 32
WICKET! Phehlukwayo gets Zadran immediately after the break! A loose drive way outside off from the left-hander and Du Plessis gets a simple catch at second slip.
Shahidi c Du Plessis b Phehlukwayo 8 (22)
9:03 pm: We’re ready for some cricket again. Revised playing rules –
- Each team to bat 48 overs.
- Three bowlers can bowl a maximum of 10 overs.
- Two bowlers can bowl a maximum of 9 overs.
8:56 pm: The match will restart at 9:05 pm IST. It has been reduced to a 48-overs-a-side contest. The covers have just about been removed.
8:44 pm: Good news, play will resume soon! The sun is out (kind of) and the covers are being removed. We might lose some overs because of the two delays.
8:25 pm: There’s still slight drizzle at the moment but it should clear out soon. The forecast is that the clouds will clear completely in about two hours from now.
8:00 pm: Oh well, it’s raining again! The covers are on and the players are off in Cardiff. Not a heavy shower at the moment but the umpires were quick to make their decision. The second rain delay of the day.
After 20 overs, Afghanistan are 69/2 – Zadran 32, Shahidi 8
Two runs come from Chris Morris’ fifth over. Afghanistan have added four runs in the last four overs.
After 19 overs, Afghanistan are 67/2 – Zadran 31, Shahidi 7
Phehlukwayo almost has Zadran’s wicket. The right-arm pacer hits the right-hander’s pads straight, the umpire raises his finger but DRS shows there was a faint edge. The Afghanistan innings isn’t going anywhere at the moment.
After 18 overs, Afghanistan are 66/2 – Zadran 30, Shahidi 7
Another good over from Chris Morris, just a single from it. The right-arm pacer has figures of 1/11 from 4 overs at the moment.
After 17 overs, Afghanistan are 65/2 – Zadran 29, Shahidi 7
Four! Phehlukwayo bowls it slightly wide and Shahidi guides it slightly wide of point for a boundary. The left-hander has come out in an aggressive mood. Six runs come from that over. Time for a drinks break.
After 16 overs, Afghanistan are 59/2 – Zadran 29, Shahidi 1
Hashmatullah Shahidi is the new man at the crease for Afghanistan. A wicket and three runs from Chris Morris’ third over. The right-arm pacer has been bang on the money so far.
After 15.1 overs, Afghanistan are 56/2 – Zadran 27
WICKET! It was on the cards, South Africa have their second. Chris Morris pitches it right up and the ball crashes into Rahmat Shah’s pads. The right-hander takes DRS after the umpire raises his fingers but the replay shows that the ball would’ve clipped the leg-stump.
Rahmat lbw Morris 6 (22)
After 15 overs, Afghanistan are 56/1 – Zadran 27, Rahmat 6
Another decent over from Phehlukwayo, four runs come from it. The Afghan batsmen are not entirely comfortable at the moment. Zadran again gets an edge that goes just past the slip cordon.
After 14 overs, Afghanistan are 52/1 – Zadran 24, Rahmat 5
Another close call for Noor Ali Zadran. Chris Morris pitches it full and the right-hander gets a thick-ish edge that goes just past the bowler. Three runs taken by the Afghans. Rahmat Shah ends the over in fine style, he latches on to a short ball and pulls it over square-leg for four.
After 13 overs, Afghanistan are 45/1 – Zadran 21, Rahmat 1
A single for Afghanistan after 12 dot balls by the South African bowlers. Andile Phehlukwayo does well to concede just a single in his second over. The right-arm pacer has found good rhythm.
After 12 overs, Afghanistan are 44/1 – Zadran 20, Rahmat 1
Rahmat Shah survives! It’s all happening in Cardiff! Chris Morris joins the attack and bowls the third maiden over of the South African innings. The right-arm pacer gets a thick edge off the right-handed Rahmat’s bat and the ball goes perfectly in between ‘keeper Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla at first slip.
After 11 overs, Afghanistan are 44/1 – Zadran 20, Rahmat 1
Zadran survives! Andile Phehlukwayo joins the attack and almost strikes immediately. The right-arm pacer draws the outside edge from the right-hander’s bat but the ball falls inches short of Faf du Plessis hands.
After 10 overs, Afghanistan are 43/1 – Zadran 20, Rahmat 0
Four! Noor Ali Zadran plays four dot balls against Beuran Hendricks and then cuts one past point for a boundary. The Afghans will keep going for their shots, we know that well. That’s the end of the powerplay, a relatively even one.
After 9 overs, Afghanistan are 39/1 – Zadran 16, Rahmat 0
Wicket maiden! Kagiso Rabada with an absolutelty brilliant over for South Africa. The right-arm pacer is massive for the Proteas. Right-handed Rahmat Shah is the new batsman at the crease for Afghanistan.
After 8.2 overs, Afghanistan are 39/1 – Zadran 16
WICKET! Kagiso Rabada gives South Africa the breakthrough! Hazratullah Zazai pulls it straight to deep square-leg and Rassie van der Dussen takes a good catch. Just what the Proteas wanted after the rain delay.
Zazai c Dussen b Rabada 22 (23)
After 8 overs, Afghanistan are 39/0 – Zazai 22, Zadran 16
Wattey shot! Zazai struggles for the first three balls in that Hendricks over before slapping one with disdain past covers and mid-off for four. The left-arm pacer wraps the left-hand batsman on the pads and then draws the outside edge which falls just short of the keeper. But the Afghan opener has the last laugh with a fierce shot for four.
After 7 overs, Afghanistan are 34/0 – Zazai 17, Zadran 16
Top start from Kagiso Rabada after the break. The right-arm pacer gets some steep bounce to beat Noor Ali Zadran’s bat twice. South Africa would want to strike soon. These are great conditions for fast-bowling.
6:47 pm: Right, we’re ready for play in Cardiff! The dark clouds have passed and the sun is out. The players have taken the field and we’re off!
6:31 pm: The rain has picked up at the moment but we’re hoping that these are passing showers. The forecast for the rest of the day in Cardiff is clear. Fingers crossed!
After 5.5 overs, Afghanistan are 33/0 – Zazai 16, Zadran 16
Oh dear, we have rain in Cardiff! Zadran hits Hendricks for two boundaries but then the rain came pouring down. The covers are on and it doesn’t look good at the moment.
After 5 overs, Afghanistan are 25/0 – Zazai 16, Zadran 8
Zazai survives! Rabada bangs it in and the left-hander goes for a pull, the ball goes high up and Chris Morris can’t hold on to it running backwards. Good effort, though. Another decent over for the Afghans.
After 4 overs, Afghanistan are 17/0 – Zazai 11, Zadran 5
Shot! Hendricks pitches it slightly full and wide, Zadran gets off the mark with a good-looking drive through covers. Good over from Afghanistan, eight runs from it.
After 3 overs, Afghanistan are 9/0 – Zazai 9, Zadran 0
Some runs for Afghanistan from Rabada’s second over. Zazai takes his front leg out and picks up a single and two doubles. The right-arm pacer struggling a bit with his line there. South Africa need to make the most of the green pitch and get early wickets.
After 2 overs, Afghanistan are 4/0 – Zazai 4, Zadran 0
Maiden over! Beuran Hendricks gets off to the perfect start. The left-arm pacer angles the ball away from the right-handed Noor Ali Zadran wonderfully. South Africa have bowled 11 out of 12 dot balls so far.
After 1 over, Afghanistan are 4/0 – Zazai 4, Zadran 0
Four! First boundary of the day for Afghanistan and it comes from Hazratullah Zazai’s bat. Kagiso Rabada bowls five dot balls but the sixth one is a full-toss, the left-hander flicks it past square-leg for a boundary.
5:56 pm: We’re minutes away from the first ball at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. The players have taken the field, it’s time for the national anthems.
5:50 pm: Shaun Pollock in his pitch report: “There’s plenty of grass on the wicket and you can make things happen as a bowler. There will be plenty of movement if you hit the deck around the good length area. It could be challenging for a few batsmen.”
5.46 pm: “Week one was a bad start to the tournament but that’s done now. We’ve got to put all our energy and focus into the now and what’s coming up next,” Faf du Plessis ahead of today’s game. Read here.
5.40 pm: Asghar Afghan makes a comeback into the XI while Rashid Khan is alright to play after getting hit on the head against New Zealand. No changes for SA from that washed out match against WI.
Afghanistan playing XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Gulbadin Naib (c), Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali khil (w), Rashid Khan, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan.
South Africa playing XI: Quinton de Kock (w), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Beuran Hendricks.
5.35 pm: South African captain Faf du Plessis at the toss: “We haven’t played any cricket since our last game. So there was no need to change the team. We have had some really good team chats and hopefully we can execute that.”
5.33 pm: South Africa have won the toss and opt to bowl first...
5.31 pm: “The first thing to celebrate is we have nice weather,” says Mbangwa.
5.28 pm: At The Oval, Australia are giving Sri Lanka a tough time.
For updates of the World Cup match between Australia and Sri Lanka, head here.
5.20 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live blog of match no 21 at the World Cup. South Africa take on Afghanistan in the battle of two struggling teams.
Winless so far in the tournament, both South Africa and Afghanistan will be eagerly looking to tick the victory box when they take on each other in a World Cup encounter in Cardiff on Saturday.
The two bottom-placed teams know that this will be their best chance to post their first win in the ongoing 50-over showpiece.
This is perhaps the first time that South Africa, from the very beginning, were never in contention to make it to the semifinals but remaining winless after four matches is something unexpected. After three straight losses against England, Bangladesh and India, their fourth match against the West Indies was abandoned due to rain.
Afghanistan faced a similar fate, losing all three of their matches till now to defending champions Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. However, the players of the war-torn nation can take confidence from the fact that they gave a good account of themselves against the Sri Lankans and almost pulled it off.
While Afghanistan will be fancying their chances against a lowly South Africa side, the Proteas would be more than keen to live up to their past reputation and make a statement against the Asian side.
South Africa have been mostly done in by their inexperienced batting line-up, coupled with injuries to a few of their key players. The Protea batsmen have been struggling, and even in the wash-out game against West Indies, they were down at 29/2 before the match was called off.