ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020: Afghanistan U19 Thrash Hosts In Tournament Opener
ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 finally started on Friday (17th January). On the day one of this tournament, Afghanistan U19 clinched a thrashing victory against the hosts South Africa U19 side.
It was the Group D match at Kimberley. The hosts decided to bat first after winning the toss, but they failed to provide a good start, and it cost them hugely. After bundling out the South African youths for just 129 runs (29.1 overs), Afghan youths chased down the target comfortably at the half-stage of their innings by losing three wickets (130/3 in 25 overs).
The Afghan opener Ibrahim Zadran and the no.3-batsman Imran Mir scored half-centuries which led them to the easy chasing. While Zadran scored 52 runs off 72 balls (8 fours), Imran scored 57 runs off 48 balls (9 fours).
Shafiqullah Ghafari was the hero for Afghanistan youths
Earlier, Afghanistan left-arm pacer Fazal Haque became the first wicket-taker of this tournament, and he took that on the third ball of this tournament after dismissing the opener Jonathan Bird (0). In his next over, Haque bowled the other opening batsman Andrew Louw (2).
Captain Bryce Parsons and Luke Beaufort handled the following situation very well with the 55 runs partnership for the third wicket. But once that partnership was broken, the hosts failed to make another strong comeback in this game. While Parsons (40 runs off 42 balls) scored the highest runs for his team, Beaufort managed to score 25 runs. Apart from them, only the no.9-positioned batsman Gerald Coetzee was successful in reaching the double-digit scores in that innings. Coetzee played a good cameo at the end of that innings as he scored 38 runs off just 23 balls (4 fours and 3 sixes).
Once the leg-spinner Shafiqullah Ghafari came to bowl, the hosts batting line-up totally collapsed. Ghafari had the bowling figures of 9.1-2-15-6. It was the second-best youth ODI bowling figures by an Afghanistan U19 bowler. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who presently represents the senior Afghanistan side, is on top of this list with the bowling figures of 9.3-2-19-7 (against Bangladesh U19 at Sylhet on 4th October 2017).
Both these teams will play their next matches on 22nd January. In their respective upcoming matches of this tournament, South Africa U19 will face Canada U19, and Afghanistan U19 will face UAE U19.
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