Sport / Cricket

Heinz Schenk
1 minute read
17 Jan 2020
2:37 pm

Junior Proteas embarrassed by Afghanistan in World Cup opener

Heinz Schenk

South Africa's hosting of the tournament gets off to a false start as Shafiqullah Ghafari spins a web.

Achille Cloete of South Africa during the 2020 ICC U19 World Cup match between South Africa and Afghanistan at Diamond Oval on January 17, 2020 in Kimberley, South Africa. (Photo by Louis Botha/Gallo Images)

On a day South African cricket fans were already left in a foul mood over Kagiso Rabada, the Junior Proteas raised huge question marks over the future of the game after being embarrassed by Afghanistan in the opening match of the Under-19 World Cup on Friday.

Lawrence Mahatlane’s troops lost by seven wickets and 25 overs to spare in Kimberley as their longstanding batting problems continued to be exposed.

Rather depressingly, the young South Africans will, just like their seniors, carry mental scars against spin as Shafiqullah Ghafari, a 18-year-old leg-spinner, spun a web around them.

He took an incredible six for 15 in 9.1 outstanding overs as the host nation was dismissed for a paltry 129.

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South Africa clearly had no clue how to pick him as four of his victims were castled, while Jack Lees was caught plumb in front.

Predictably, it was only a familiar duo, captain Bryce Parsons and dynamic bowling all-rounder Gerald Coetzee, that put up a fight.

The left-handed Parsons struck seven boundaries in a 42-ball 40, but he was the lone resistance in the top order.

Coetzee chanced his arm to club 38 off 23, which included three sixes.

Demoralised, the South Africans saw Coetzee start his opening spell with four wides and couldn’t find much rhythm as the Afghans cantered to their target.

Imran Mir struck ten fours in his 57, while opener Ibrahim Zadran was solid in making 52.

Achille Cloete bowled well for South Africa to take 2/20.

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