Afghanistan Under-19s thumped the hosts South Africa by seven wickets in the opening match of the 2020 Under-19s World Cup. The South African openers got out inside 3 overs after electing to bat. Skipper Bryce Parsons scored a quick 42-ball 40 before leg-spinner Shafiqullah Ghafari stole the show.
He along with chinaman spinner Noor Ahmad wrenched the South African batting who were collapsed from 62/2 to 90/8. Gerald Coetzee’s 23-ball 38 towards the end helped them to finish on 129 as Ghafari bagged six wickets. Imran Mir’s 48-ball 57 and Ibrahim Zadran’s 52 helped the Afghanistan team to chase down the target of 130 with 25 overs and seven wickets to spare.
All the statistical highlights from the opening game of the tournament between South Africa and Afghanistan:
1-3 – This was Afghanistan’s maiden victory in Youth ODI cricket against the South African team who won the previous three meetings. South Africa thumped Afghans in the Quarter-Final of the 2014 edition by 9 wickets and registered wins during the 2019 Quadrangular series in India by 9 and 55 runs respectively.
4 – Only the 4th time in 13 editions of the U19 CWC that the home side lost their first match of the tournament. The other three such instances were recorded by Bangladesh in 2004, Malaysia in 2008 and UAE in 2014. During the 2002 edition, the first match of the home team New Zealand ended in a washout.
6/15 – Shafiqullah Ghafari’s bowling figures of 6/15 are now the best for Afghanistan in Under-19s World Cup bettering Aftab Alam’s 6/33 against Papua New Guinea in the 2010 edition. These are also the 2nd best bowling figures for Afghanistan in Youth ODIs behind Mujeeb ur Rahman’s 7/19 against Bangladesh in 2017.
6/15 – Shafiqullah’s 6/15 are the joint 7th best bowling figures in the history of Under-19 World Cup. These are also the 2nd best by a leg-spinner behind Lloyd Pope’s 8/35 which is the only 8-wicket haul in the U19 CWC history. Pope recorded it during the Quarter-Final of the 2018 edition.
Ghafari’s bowling figures are also the best for any player against South Africa not only in the Under-19 World Cup but also in all Youth ODI cricket. Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s 6/29 during the 2009 Tri-series were the previous best figures against the Proteas in this format. Pradeep Sangwan’s 5/44 in 2008 was the only 5-wicket haul conceded by South Africa in U19 CWC before this edition.
129 – South Africa’s total of 129 in this match is their 2nd lowest total in the U19 CWC history. Their lowest of 91/10 came against Zimbabwe during the play-off match in the 2016 edition.
106 – Gerald Coetzee has scored 106 runs while batting at No.9 or lower position in Under-19s World Cup; the most runs aggregated by any player in this tournament while batting at No.9 or a lower position. Coetzee’s scores at No.9 in U19 CWC read 38, 3, 29, 36*.
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