About the Match
Afghanistan lost its first match in the Super 10 stage against Sri Lanka by 6 wickets and will try to give it their all to survive when they face South Africa on 20th March at Mumbai. South Africa suffered a heart wrenching defeat at the hands of England despite posting a humungous total of 229 runs batting first; they will come back stronger here to win this crucial match. Both teams need a victory here after losing their opening games in Group 1; South Africa will not take the associate team lightly and we are definitely going to witness some fiery performances on Sunday.
Batting first against reigning World Champions, Sri Lanka in the first match of the series, the batsmen put up a spirited effort as they managed to score 153 runs thanks to the brilliant captain’s knock of 62 off 47 by Asghar Stanikzai. He was well supported by Noor Ali Zadran in the top order and Samiullah Shenwari down the batting line-up. However, the bowlers weren’t impressive enough against the Lankan hard-hitters like Dilshan and they lost the match by 6 wickets.
Although spinners Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan took a wicket each and also contained the opposition with their economical spells, bowlers like Karim Sadiq, Hamid Hassan and Dawlat Zadran gave away too many runs. Samiullah Shenwari showcased his all-rounder skills as he bowled superbly and provided good variation; however, they couldn’t overcome the experience and talent of Dilshan, who took Sri Lanka to a comfortable win.
They are the underdogs here but are quite determined to do well against strong teams; Asghar Stanikzai is in tremendous form with the bat and if the others in the top-order can come out guns blazing, then the bowlers will have enough to fight for if defending a target. They need to win here to keep their hopes alive and the bowlers will have to do something special against the Proteans.
It was a contest between the batsmen against England at Wankhede Stadium and South Africa did a tremendous job by posting the highest T20 total of 229 runs; however, a lack of spinners led to their defeat in a highly tense game. Openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock were brilliant as they scored half-centuries each and posted an opening stand of 96 by the 8th over. JP Duminy and David Miller contributed well with 54 and 28 runs respectively to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Although batting performance was superb, the bowlers put up a disappointing show giving away too many extras to the opposition; Dale Steyn found no success with the wickets and leaked away runs. Although Kyle Abbott took 3 wickets and Rabada contributed with 2 more, they couldn’t contain batsmen like Joe Root and Jason Roy. Imran Tahir and JP Duminy bowled with all their heart and they took a wicket each but the squad definitely needs more depth in spin.
The upcoming game against Afghanistan is crucial and they will come out all guns blazing in order to emerge victorious in this do or die contest; the bowlers must put up a disciplined attack and make quick in-roads into the opponent’s batting line-up.
Afghanistan has shown signs of brilliance and can put up a stiff challenge but South Africa with their strong batting line-up and experienced bowlers are clear favorites here to win the match