South Africa bowlers run riot

Cardiff: South Africa's Imran Tahir celebrates taking the wicket of of Afghanistan's Asghar Afghan during the ICC Cricket World Cup group stage match at The Cardiff Wales Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday June 15, 2019. AP/PTI(AP6_15_2019_000207A)

South Africa bowled out Afghanistan for just 125 in a rain-shortened match in Cardiff on Saturday as they fought to keep their faltering World Cup hopes alive.

Faf du Plessis’s side have endured a torrid campaign so far, losing their first three matches and then picking up one point from a rain-ruined match against the West Indies.

Afghanistan, who have lost all three of their matches in England and Wales, made a bright start but their middle order collapsed spectacularly and just three of their players reached double figures.

There was little sign of the carnage to come when Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran put on 39 runs for the first wicket. After a short rain delay Zazai was the first to go, caught by Rassie van der Dussen for 22 off the bowling of paceman Kagiso Rabada.

Chris Morris trapped Rahmat Shah lbw for six and Afghanistan were 69-2 after 20 overs when the heavens opened again and the covers came on, with officials opting to reduce the match to 48 overs a side.

When play resumed Hashmatullah Shahidi was out without any addition to the score, caught in the slips by Du Plessis off the bowling of Andile Phehlukwayo for eight.

Leg-spinner Tahir bowled Zadran for 32 with his first ball and then caught Asghar Afghan off his own bowling for nought in the same over to plunge Afghanistan into deep trouble. Mohammad Nabi became the third Afghan batsmen to lose his wicket in the space of seven balls when he was bowled by Phehlukwayo.

When Gulbadin Naib was caught by Aiden Markram of the bowling of Tahir, Afghanistan were teetering on the brink of disaster at 77-7.

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