South Africa cruise to Super Eight as the Afghan dream ends

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> South Africa easily cruised to Super Eight after defeating Afghanistan by 59 runs in their encounter at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados on Wednesday.

Updated: May 06, 2010 13:46 IST
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South Africa won through to the second round of the World Twenty20 with a 59-run win as newcomers Afghanistan were bowled out for just 80 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown on Wednesday.

The Afghanistan top order had no answer to fast bowlers Morne Morkel, the man of the match, with four wickets for 20 runs, Dale Steyn (two for six) and Charl Langeveldt (three for 12).

But the lowest record score in a Twenty20 international remains the 67 made by Kenya against Ireland in Belfast in 2008.

Kenya also hold the corresponding World Twenty20 record of 73, set against New Zealand in Durban in 2007.

Afghanistan fast bowler Hamid Hassan, who earlier took an impressive three wickets, took his team's score off 67 by swinging left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe for six.

Hassan (22) and fellow tailender Mirwais Ashraf (23) prevented what had looked like a record-breaking rout although South Africa still won with four overs to spare.

Afghanistan, who only a few years ago, were playing against the likes of Jersey and Denmark, had no answer to the pace of South Africa's quicks and collapsed to 12 for five in pursuit of a victory target of 140.

Steyn did the initial damage having Noor Ali, who made 50 in Afghanistan's tournament opener against Group C winners India, caught behind for nought with an 88 miles per hour delivery.

Mohamammad Shahzad struggled to get bat on ball and, when he did, he too was caught behind by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher off Steyn.

Morne Morkel then accounted for Afghanistan captain Nowroz Mangal, who'd probably, like most of his team-mates, had never faced bowling of this pace before, with his first ball and removed Karim Sadiq with his fourth as the collapse continued under the floodlights.

No 8 Samiullah Shenwari became the first Afghan batsman in the innings to make 11 but was then run out after Mirwais Ashraf dabbled to gully and Shenwari failed to beat AB de Villiers's direct hit.

Hassan showed defiance by lofting Albie Morkel's first ball for six over long-off and Ashraf struck the seamer for an even bigger six over long-on.

Ashraf gave van der Merwe the six treatment before he was bowled by Langeveldt.

Earlier, Hassan, red headband and all, was every inch the image of a fiery fast bowler as he took three for 21 in South Africa's total of 139 for seven.

Hassan's scalps were all 'proper' batsmen in Jacques Kallis, Boucher and JP Duminy.

No batsman made more than Kallis's 34 but if the conditions were helpful to Hassan, they were always likely to be even more favourable to South Africa's pace attack.

South Africa now face New Zealand in their opening Super Eights match on Thursday.

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