South Africa sealed their first win in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 after beating Afghanistan by 37 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 20 March. They bounced back following a defeat to England at the same venue in their first match of the tournament.
Faf du Plessis won the toss and elected to bat. His decision to do so did not go in their favour initially as Proteas lost opener Hashim Amla early in the match. This saw the skipper join Quinton de Kock on the other end.
The two put on a brilliant 65-run partnership, before Du Plessis gave away his wicket in bizarre fashion. He played the ball straight to a fielder at extra cover and wanted a quick single, when there was no run. A delay in returning to the safe zone allowed the Afghan 'keeper to clip the bails and the captain was dismissed for 41.
AB de Villiers then joined De Kock in the middle, as the latter's time ended when the ball hit the toe of the bat and went to the wicket-keeper for a simple catch. De Kock made 46 runs. He was replaced by JP Duminy.
De Villiers and Duminy were also not successful in increasing the scoring rate, until Rashid Khan came to bowl his final over. De Villiers smashed him for four sixes and a boundary, which led to the bowler conceding 29 runs in the over.
This helped South Africa reach a total of 209 runs, with some help from Duminy and David Miller down the order.
In reply, Afghanistan were given a good start by Mohammad Shahzad from the very first over as they reached 50 runs in less than four overs, on a batting pitch. However, Chris Morris took Shahzad's wicket at the end of the fourth over. He was dismissed for 44 off 19 deliveries.
He was replaced by Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai, who fell after scoring just 7 runs. Morris stuck twice in two overs to put pressure back on Afghanistan, as the Asian team scored 64 runs in first the six overs.
Gulbadin Naib and Noor Ali Zadran brought the game back to life by putting on a brilliant partnership of 45 runs, but Kyle Abbott managed to get the wicket of Naib, when he was looking in good form. He was followed by Noor Ali back to the pavilion, leaving Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari in the middle.
Afghanistan were unable to keep up the momentum as wickets feel at regular intervals. They were bowled out for 172 runs, but their batting display is something the side can be proud off. Du Plessis had left Dale Steyn out of this fixture, but the move did not make any significant difference, as South Africa would now want to get their bowling back on track.
Nonetheless, it was Morris' performance with the ball where he picked up four wickets conceding 27 runs, saw him bag the man of the match award. South Africa next face West Indies in Nagpur on 27 March, while Afghanistan will take on England on 23 March in New Delhi.