Bowlers dominate in big wins for SA and Afghanistan T20 World Cup Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

WESTBURY, New York (AP) — Sri Lanka were blown away for 77 by South Africa and Afghanistan skittled Uganda for 58 as the bowling attacks dominated in lopsided wins Monday at cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup.

Anrich Nortje’s career-best 4-7 set South Africa up for a six-wicket opening victory and Fazal Haq Farooqi’s maiden five-wicket haul — he returned 5-9 — helped Afghanistan to a 125-run win over tournament newcomer Uganda.

South Africa overcame their own hiccups on the two-paced pitch to reach 80-4 with 3.4 overs to spare at the purpose-built Nassau County Stadium on Long Island.

South Africa’s best bowling performance in tournament history also included pace bowler Kagiso Rabada’s 2-21, spinner Keshav Maharaj’s 2-22, and fast bowler Ottneil Baartman’s 1-9 in his second T20.

Opener Kusal Mendis top-scored for Sri Lanka with a 30-ball 19, one of only three scores in double figures. The Sri Lankans were dismissed in 19.1 overs.

Skipper Wanindu Hasaranga took 2-22 but South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen remained calm to finish off proceedings for the Proteas with an unbeaten 19.

“We did well to restrict them to a low score,” man-of-the-match Nortje said. “It was an up-and-down wicket, so it was important to get early wickets. These drop-in pitches are tough to bowl on.”

Tougher to bat on.

Sri Lanka opted to bat first and misread the variable bounce.

Baartman had Pathum Nissanka caught behind for 3. Nortje removed Kamindu Mendis, caught at square leg on 11. Hasaranga was surprisingly promoted to No. 4 but was stumped for a two-ball duck. Next ball, Maharaj bowled Sadeera Samarawickrama for a golden duck. Sri Lanka lost their last four wickets for nine runs across 27 deliveries.

In hindsight, on a pitch that didn’t allow for the usual big T20 hits, Sri Lanka would have been competitive with a total of 100.

“To be honest this was a 120-run wicket, especially with our bowlers,” Hasaranga said.

South Africa made a poor start in front of the crowd of 12,562, losing opener Reeza Hendricks (4) in the second over.

Quinton de Kock scored 20 runs off 27 balls before Klaasen and David Miller combined for 22 off 21 balls.

At only 4.2 runs per over, the match featured the lowest run-rate in a T20 World Cup.

Afghanistan’s Fazalhaq Farooqi, left, celebrates with a teammate after taking the wicket of Uganda’s Ronak Patel.

At Providence, Guyana, openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (76) and Ibrahim Zadran (70) put on a 154-run opening stand that set Afghanistan on course for 183-4. Farooqi took two wickets on consecutive balls in the first over and narrowly missed another chance for a hat-trick as Uganda tumbled to the fourth-lowest total at a T20 World Cup.

The contrast between the teams was starkly demonstrated with the second ball of each innings

Gurbaz drove the second ball of the match for a six.

Ronak Patel was bowled on the second ball of Uganda’s reply by Farooqi.

Uganda captain Brian Masaba had won the toss and decided to field in the hope that an early tournament trend would continue — chasing teams won the first four matches. That streak has ended.

It took Masaba (2-21) until the 15th over to take Uganda’s first wicket at a T20 World Cup, dismissing Zadran to break Afghanistan’s opening stand.

“First game of the World Cup, a lot of nerves — right now I feel it’s good to get that out of the way,” Masaba said. “We will look to play better next game.”

Gurbaz went with the addition of two to the total and then the run-rate as Afghanistan lost five wickets for 29 off the last 6 1/2 overs.

Any chance that Uganda had was over in the first power play, with Farooqi taking his two wickets with consecutive perfectly pitched in-swinging deliveries in the first over and Naveen-ul-Haq (2-4) getting two wickets to have the African qualifiers reeling at 21-5 after six overs.

Only two Ugandan batters reached double figures before Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan (2-12) finished off the innings with two wickets in the 16th over.

Rashid said it was the kind of start Afghanistan needed, adding that World Cup experience in both the 50-over and T20 formats has given his team a lot of confidence.

“We played against the big teams and we have given them a tough time,” Rashid said. “That really gives us the kind of belief that we are capable of beating any side any time.”