ICC World Twenty20

Chastened SA wary of Afghanistan

2016-03-19 15:27
Hashim Amla (Gallo)

Mumbai - South Africa will be gunning to get their bid for a first international trophy back on track when they take on Afghanistan Sunday after a dramatic last-over loss to England.

The Proteas are desperate to shed their chokers' tag but on Friday they showed scant evidence of the mettle required to win a major tournament as England successfully chased their imposing total.

South Africa looked in the driving seat after posting 229-4 but slack bowling and a commanding 83 by Joe Root helped England set the record for the highest run-chase in World Twenty20 history.

Faf du Plessis's side gave away 26 extras, while fast bowler Dale Steyn conceded 23 runs in just the second over, as Eoin Morgan's England reached 230-8 with only two balls to spare at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

"Probably the difference in the game was us conceding too many extras," opening batsman Hashim Amla told reporters on Saturday, urging the Proteas' bowlers to bounce back from Friday's disappointment.

"We have a quality bowling attack and I firmly believe they would be really hurt as a team not executing as well as they would have liked.

"Hopefully in the next games and the games to follow we can correct that," added Amla, who top-scored for South Africa against England with a 58.

JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock also made half-centuries as the Proteas' top-order batsmen did their jobs.

Afghanistan, the only non-Test side left in the competition, will be looking to be no pushovers during Sunday's clash.

Skipper Asghar Stanikzai's team, who have to play all their matches away from their war-torn home, defied the odds to cruise through the preliminary round before losing by six wickets to Sri Lanka.

Destructive opener Mohammad Shahzad is their best chance of doing some damage to South Africa's fragile bowling attack when they meet in the day match at the Wankhede.

Stanikzai said his side were not at the World T20 just to make up the numbers, adding that his squad was full of confidence.

"We're not here only to play. We are trying to beat one or two teams in this tournament," he told reporters at a pre-match press conference on Saturday.

South Africa have never won a world cup in T20 and 50-over cricket but were one of the favourites coming into this tournament due to their formidable batting line-up and third spot in the world rankings.

Since their readmission in 1991 after the apartheid-era ban, the Proteas have been the nearly men of world tournament cricket, falling agonisingly short of finals on several occasions.

All-rounder Duminy 31, admitted Friday's Super 10 Group One defeat meant South Africa were now under the cosh.

"There's a long way to go in this tournament and we obviously as a team are now under the pump and we have to pretty much win every game," he said.

Amla insisted South Africa wouldn't be taking Afghanistan lightly.

"You can't take any team for granted. The shorter the format the more the minnow teams are in the running," he said.


South Africa (from): Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Chris Morris, David Miller, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese

Afghanistan (from): Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Amir Hamza, Dawlat Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Hamid Hassan, Karim Sadiq, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Shahzad, Najibullah Zadran, Noor Ali Zadran, Rashid Khan, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah Shafiq, Shapoor Zadran, Usman Ghani

Read more on:    proteas  |  icc world twenty20  |  hashim amla  |  cricket

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