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Van der Dussen helps South Africa secure victory while Afghanistan exits with dignity.

South Africa successfully fended off a determined comeback from Afghanistan, ultimately winning their last World Cup group match by five wickets and solidifying their spot in second place in the rankings.

The Proteas currently have 14 points after playing nine games, putting them two points above Australia, who will face Bangladesh on Saturday. Both South Africa and Australia have secured spots in the semi-finals.

Afghanistan wrapped up their best ever World Cup campaign having won four games and also sealed a place in the 2025 Champions Trophy. “We gave a good message to the world, we played big teams and fought till the end,” said their captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi.

Shahidi expressed his pride in the performance of our batsmen during this tournament. He acknowledged our strong spin department, but believes that if we can maintain the momentum from our batting, we will become a formidable team.

In Ahmedabad, Shahidi chose to go up to bat first. His team managed to score 244 runs in 50 overs, thanks to Azmatullah Omarzai’s impressive performance of an unbeaten 97 runs. This included seven boundaries and three sixes. The South African bowler Gerald Coetzee stood out with his figures of 4 for 44.

Quinton de Kock led the chase with ease, scoring 41 runs and surpassing all other players in the World Cup with a total of 591 runs. Rassie van der Dussen (76 not out) then successfully guided the South African team to victory, teaming up with Andile Phehlukwayo for a 65-run partnership. Phehlukwayo sealed the win with a powerful six over deep midwicket in the 48th over.

According to South Africa captain Temba Bavuma, winning is a habit and their team hopes to maintain that momentum. They have gained a lot of confidence from their recent performances. In today’s game, they made a change by choosing to bat second instead of their usual strategy of batting first. This victory will surely boost our confidence moving forward.

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“We hope to have the opportunity to compete in the final once more, with a packed audience in attendance. However, we must first overcome the challenge of facing Australia in Kolkata.”

Source: theguardian.com