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Afghanistan vs. South Africa: World Cup Match 21 Preview

South Africa will look to secure their first win when they face Afghanistan in the 21st match of 2019 World Cup at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Saturday. At this ground the average 1st inning score is 271 while the highest score chased is 302 while doing so. Pacers have dominated in this ground where they haven taken 80 percent of the wickets.

While looking at the team performance first comes South Africa, who have a lot more strength in both the batting as well as in bowling departments. However, despite that, they are still searching for their first win in the World Cup as their main bowlers got hit by their injuries. Looking at their batting depth, batsmen like Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, and Rassie van der Dussen have already struck a half-century each in the tournament and will be the key batsmen against Afghanistan. While bowlers like Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, and Imran Tahir each picked four wickets to their name and will play a key role in registering their first win in the tournament.

On the other hand, Afghanistan, who are underdogs in this World Cup, are searching for their first World Cup win to make history, even if the chances look slim against South Africa. Moreover, Afghan bowlers managed to pick just 16 wickets in three matches where they heavily depend on their spinners in a condition where pacers get more advantage. Pacer Aftab Alam claimed three wickets in his previous match against New Zealand where he got some assistance from Hamid Hassan and Gulbadin Naib. Overall, looking at the contest it’s going to be a one-sided match.

Injury Updates:

South Africa:Lungi Ngidi, who was ruled out against India due to a hamstring injury is expected to be fit against Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: Rashid Khan, who was treated for a concussion after being hit on his head while playing against New Zealand is expected to be fully fit for the clash against South Africa. Player Recommendations:

Wicket-keeper: Quinton de Kock (10.5 credits): The only available quality option to choose is De Kock who has been in excellent form, averaging 53.36 in 2019 with one century and five half-centuries to his name. Moreover, he also scored 118 in his four matches in World Cup at an average of 39.33. His form and experience give him the edge over Afghan’s Ikram Ali Khil. He’s a must-have player for this match.

Batsman: Faf du Plessis (10.5 credits): Du Plessis has been in red-hot form in 2019, as he averages 59.11 and also smashed one century and four half-centuries. Moreover, South Africa will rely on him in the middle-order as he is their run-machine over the years and he will look to continue his form in a game against Afghanistan. Moreover, he could be a dark horse today.

All-Rounder: Andile Phehlukwayo (9 credits): Phehlukwayo has been South Africa’s best bowler this World Cup, where he picked four wickets in his four matches at an economy of 5.13. Moreover, in 2019 he picked 15 wickets and smashed 186 runs at an average of 37.20 in his 13 matches. Overall, looking at his performance in 2019 he is a must-have player in your team.

Bowler: Kagiso Rabada (9.5 credits): Rabada bowled excellently in this World Cup where he picked four wickets at an economy of 5.40 in his four matches. Moreover, he is looking sharp and confident which helped him to pick 17 wickets in his 13 matches in 2019. Moreover, Afghanistan’s top-order hasn’t fired yet, and Rabada will be eager to make the most of their tentativeness.

Predicted Playing XI:

Afghanistan:Hazratullah Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Gulbadin Naib (C), Ikram Ali Khil (WK), Rashid Khan, Hamid Hassan, Aftab Alam

South Africa: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Faf du Plessis (C), David Miller, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir


by Ajay N

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