Morkel and Duminy rescue South Africa
Albie Morkel and JP Duminy came to the rescue of South Africa with a partnership of 43 top help the Proteas set Afghanistan a target of 140 after the Afghans had reduced the Proteas to 90-5 after 14.1 overs..
Graeme Smith got South Africa off to a good start hitting three boundaries in the first over as Shapoor Zadran got off to an expensive start as Smith made the batting look worryingly easy.
To their credit Afghanistan hit back straight away thanks to some exceptional fielding; Loots Bosman (0), facing his first ball of the innings ran a quick leg bye but when he turned back for a second he was run out by a direct throw from Mirwais Ashraf to cue wild celebration from the Afghan players.
With the wicket of Bosman falling Smith was joined at the crease by Jacques Kallis and the pair wasted little time taking control of the game.
The pair smashed a quick fire partnership of 32 from just 19 balls which included two mammoth sixes from Kallis off the bowling of Mirwais Ashraf as the Proteas showed they were in no mood to be this years World Cup slain giant.
After 4 overs South Africa were 45-1; with still two more power play overs to go they were already well placed for a commanding score, but, having already survived a run out opportunity Smith was dismissed at the start of the 5th over.
Faced with the spin bowling of Mohammad Nabi, Smith (27) tried to smash a six straight down the ground but he played the shot to early which resulted in the ball dropping short of the boundary into the hands of skipper Nowroz Mangal to leave the Proteas 45-2.
Despite the vast gulf in experience between the two teams the wicket of Smith brought the Afghans back into the game thanks to their spinners who halted the Proteas quick start.
Kallis and AB de Villiers struggled to find the boundary thanks to Samiullah Shenwari as the spinner made it almost impossible to score conceding just 14 runs from his 4 overs.
With the run rate slowing down and pressure mounting de Villiers (11) tried to attack Nowroz Mangal but he misjudged the flight of the ball and was stumped by Mohammad Shahzad.
Amazingly Kallis (34) followed de Villiers back into the dugout 2 overs later after he was caught by Mohammad Shahzad to give the Hamid Hassan his first wicket of the night and leave South Africa 84-4 after 12.1.
Hassan made further inroads into the Proteas batting line-up with the first ball of the 14th over trapping Mark Boucher LBW to reduce the Proteas to 90-5.
With 5 over to go Afghanistan were well placed to cause a major upset but Morkel came to South Africa’s rescue with a quick fire 25 to ease the Proteas worries. Supported by Duminy (25) the pair readdressed the balance of the game with a partnership of 43.
The impressive Hamid Hassan completed his four over spell by picking up the wicket of Duminy as Afghanistan fought for every run and every wicket.
By the end of the innings Morkel had helped South Africa reach 139-7. With Hamid Hassan highly impressive creating bounce and pace the Afghans will now have to chase victory batting against Dale Steyn and Morkel who will take advantage of the bowler friendly wicket.