ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 – Afghanistan vs South Africa Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Afghanistan vs South Africa taking place? Saturday 15th June – 13:30 (UK)

Where is Afghanistan vs South Africa taking place? Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

What is the expected weather for Afghanistan vs South Africa? 16c with a chance of light rain showers throughout the afternoon and into the evening which may affect play

What television channel is Afghanistan vs South Africa on in the UK? Sky Sports Cricket

Where can I stream Afghanistan vs South Africa? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match live on Sky Go

Where can I get tickets for Afghanistan vs South Africa? There are plenty of tickets still available for this match and they can be purchased here

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Last meeting: This is the first ever meeting between Afghanistan and South Africa

THE TEAM NEWS

AFGHANISTAN

Coach: Phil Simmons

Captain: Gulbadin Naib

  • Afghanistan suffered their third successive World Cup defeat last Saturday after New Zealand chased down their modest total of 173 with seven wickets and 107 balls to spare as once again their batting struggled as they collapsed from 66/0.

  • Hashmatullah Shahidi was the stand-out with the bat, hitting 59 from 99 balls but the majority of the batting however remained incredibly brittle with seven players failing to register a double figure score and that remains a major concern against quality bowling attacks.

  • After star spinner Rashid Khan was taken out of the game following being hit on the head off the bowling of Lockie Ferguson, it was down to fast bowler Aftab Alam to spearhead the Afghan bowling attack, picking up all three wickets against the Blackcaps but despite the blow, Rashid is expected to play against South Africa.

SOUTH AFRICA

Coach: Ottis Gibson

Captain: Faf du Plessis

  • South Africa got their first point of the 2019 World Cup against the West Indies with a helping hand from the English weather but it was not before a few wickets saw them reduced to 29/2 from 7.3 overs when the rain brought a very early end to proceedings in Southampton.

  • In some rare good news for the South Africans, fast bowler Lungi Ngidi is expected to be fit for the Afghanistan match after a side strain ruled him out of the game against the West Indies and that is a major boost for them.

  • Responding to the revelation that retired South African legend AB de Villiers offered to return for the World Cup, Proteas captain Faf du Plessis claimed the respective fallout over the news has not affected his side and may have even brought them closer together but they will be under pressure to prove that against the only side lower than them in the World Cup standings table.

THE PREDICTION

This match could be dubbed the battle of the wooden spoon as the two lowest-ranked sides in the World Cup so far clash in Cardiff. South Africa realistically have to win every one of their remaining games to stand any chance of progressing to the semi-finals, whilst Afghanistan may see this match as their best chance of registering a historic first World Cup victory. In what could be a rain affected game, whoever wins the toss and bowls first should gain a clear advantage. Ultimately, South Africa’s pace attack should have far too much for the Afghanistan batting line-up, especially with Ngidi back and he could spearhead the Proteas to their first victory in this World Cup.