At the Narendra Modi Stadium, South Africa defeated Afghanistan by five wickets to conclude their league campaign. The team captained by Hashmatuallah Shahidi fiercely battled and remained in the match until the final five overs, but once the spinners completed their quota, things took a turn for the worse. With the bat, the Afghans scored 244 runs thanks to a fantastic innings from Azmatuallah Omarzai.
Afghanistan were in a tight situation right from the start as Gerald Coetzee was in remarkable form. However, Omarzai, who had a tremendous tournament, once again stood up and hit 97* runs to help Afghanistan post a respectable total. He was arguably Afghanistan’s best performer in the tournament.
Quinton de Kock got off to a strong start in the chase, but South Africa never seemed to be at ease. Rassie van der Dussen collected himself after returning to the pavilion and scored 76* runs to assist South Africa over the finish line. He continued to play his game and eventually delivered the target even though wickets were falling from one end.
Next up, the Proteas will challenge Australia in the second semi-final of the ongoing ODI World Cup, while Afghanistan will head home, but should be extremely proud of their effort.
Brief scores: Afghanistan 244 in 50 overs (Azmatullah Omarzai 97*, Noor Ahmad 26; Gerald Coetzee 4-44, Keshav Maharaj 2-25) lost to South Africa 247/5 in 47.3 overs (Rassie van der Dussen 76*, Quinton de Kock 41, Andile Phehlukwayo 39*; Mohammad Nabi 2-35, Rashid Khan 2-37) by five wickets