Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

CWC19 preview: South Africa vs Afghanistan – Pitch report and livestream

South Africa vs AfghanistanAfghanistan are the latest stumbling block on the Proteas path to World Cup redemption, they meet in a day/night clash at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Saturday.

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It hasn’t been a great World Cup for Afghanistan and South Africa who both came into the tournament feeling that the pressure was off them.

Afghanistan’s pre-tournament talk of perhaps challenging for a semi-final place gave way to three successive losses but their camp will be positively upbeat in comparison to the Proteas.

After three straight losses the Proteas were mercifully granted a point when their fourth match of the World Cup, against the West Indies, was rained off.

Batting coach Dale Benkenstein, a man whose position has been rendered tenuous claimed that the poor return with the bat was down to nerves.

“Confidence as batters is huge in a World Cup. They do feel the extra pressure,” he said.

“Our history doesn’t help … and we’re trying to deal with it. The guys have been a bit nervous and I think that has shown.

“At the moment everything is pretty simple. We have to go and win every game and it’s not a bad position to be in. Mentally, we know what we have to and now we have to go and do it.”

Directly in the path of the Proteas is an Afghanistan side that have yet to fire with bat in hand but still pose a significant threat.

Afghanistan’s openers Mohammad Shahzad and Hazrat Zazai have yet to inflict the kind of destruction they are capable of but the Proteas new ball bowlers cannot afford to lob them too many freebies. Shahzad and Zazai are a pair of power-hitters possessed of a good eye so the use of the short ball against them needs to be precise.

The middle-order has been prone to collapse but Afghanistan’s allrounders are a gutsy bunch who don’t know when they are beaten. Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan can both hit a long ball and deliver deception via their spin.

They have steadfastly stuck to fielding at least three spinners, which could give the Proteas some difficulty. Mujeeb Ur Rahman is likely to get into the action early, the young spinner has really refined his white ball skills thanks to T20 cricket.

As for the Proteas they will be looking for an across the board improvement. The batsmen have not made the most of their starts nor have they been able to match the run-scoring tempo of the early World Cup pacesetters. The bowlers have been inconsistent and have struggled to find the right length in particular.

CWC South Africa vs Afghanistan pitch report

Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

England smashed 386/6 in the last match played at Sophia Gardens suggesting their are plenty of runs in the deck, however Afghanistan and Sri Lanka found things a little more difficult in their rain-affected clash.

Afghanistan were bowled out for 152 chasing just 187 runs to win in 41 overs.

New Zealand’s successful chase of a paltry target of 137 against Sri Lanka has been the only success achieved batting second.

There is rain forecast around the stadium on Saturday but the worst of it is expected before play.

The likelihood of rain and the prospect of greater assistance through the air for bowlers later in the day should make batting first the best option for the skipper that wins the toss.

CWC South Africa vs Afghanistan Match Info and livestream details

Start time: 14:30 (SAST) Saturday 14 June 2019
Livestream: DSTV Now (All subscriptions)
Broadcast: Live Supersport 2 and delayed SABC 3

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