Aaron Phangiso’s 3-39 and Reeza Hendricks’ 76 helped SA A beat Afghanistan A by seven wickets in Pretoria on Saturday.
SA A put in a fine bowling display to restrict Afghanistan in their innings, and it was the experienced Phangiso who put South Africa in a strong position early on.
Despite a well-played 54 from Usman Ghani setting the tone for his side, the 33-year-old still managed to rattle the visitors by dismissing Ghani and the rest of the top three for 92 runs by the 22nd over.
Afghanistan managed to pass the 100-run mark, but struggled to push on from there, as wickets continued to tumble.
Tabraiz Shamsi dismissed Javed Ahmadi (12), Junior Dala dismissed Rahmat Shah (32) and Dwaine Pretorius dismissed Shafiqullah (14) to topple Afghanistan’s top six for 145 runs after 36.1 overs.
Najibullah Zadran got a decent start to reach a 32-ball 28, but his run-out in the 44th over and Dane Paterson’s dismissal of Afsar Zazai (7) in the 45th saw Afghanistan struggling on 176-8.
The tail of Yamin Ahmadzai and Nawaz Khan did well to get their side to 200, but Dala picked up his second, as Afghanistan posted 202-9 in their 50 overs.
South Africa’s opening pair of Henry Davids and Hendricks got off to a solid start with an 88-run partnership.
Their hard work was ended in the 14th over, however, thanks to Najibullah Zadran chipping in with the scalp of Davids for 41.
Hendricks, joined by Mangaliso Mosehle, got their side past 100, as Hendricks reached his half-century and kept SA in control.
Afghanistan fought back to get themselves into the match, first with the wicket of Mosehle (11), and then Hendricks on a 76-ball 76, rattling the hosts at 145-3 by the middle of the 26th over.
SA A captain, Khaya Zondo (32), and Proteas batsman Farhaan Behardien (30) brushed off the pressure as the pair strung together 58 runs for the fourth wicket.
SA A ended with 203-3 after 36.4 overs, claiming a seven-wicket victory.
Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images