South Africa captain Faf du Plessis hopes Hashim Amla’s innings against Afghanistan can kick-start the right-hander at the World Cup.
Amla’s unbeaten 41, off 83 balls, and Quinton de Kock’s 68 guided South Africa to its first win of the tournament in Cardiff on Saturday. It went past its target of 127 with nine wickets and 116 balls remaining after Imran Tahir (4 for 29) had helped rip through Afghanistan and rain shortened the game.
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Amla’s slow innings denied his side a bigger boost to its net run rate, but his 41 runs were more than he had in his previous three innings at the tournament (25) and Du Plessis hopes it gives the veteran some confidence. “He’s an important player for us. I think time in the middle is gold for anybody,” he told a news conference.
“Guys like Quinton, they’re on a different level when it comes to attacking and free all the time. But not all players are like him. Some players really just need time in the middle and runs behind their name or their back, which really gives them confidence.
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“And that’s why I say, in a perfect world, yes, we could have pushed a little harder at the end. But for me, sitting on the side, I was okay with him because I see the value in it in the games that are coming up next.”
“I think specifically with him it’s a bigger picture. It’s about getting runs, finishing a game off, getting confidence for himself,” Du Plessis added.
‘Big player for us’
“He’s a big player for us and we need him for the next four games.”
Afghanistan was 33 for 0 and 69 for 2 when rain twice delayed play and it was never able to get going when it got back underway. Captain Gulbadin Naib felt the delays may have cost his team — which has lost its opening four games — some momentum.
“If you’re going well and in the middle you just take it slightly back, so maybe the momentum going,” he said. “So maybe it’s a game turning point there, so when the rains come. I think we missed something from there. And also we did not [do] well in the batting. That’s why.”
Article source: https://sportstar.thehindu.com/cricket/icc-cricket-world-cup/icc-world-cup-2019-faf-du-plessis-hashim-amla-south-africa-afghanistan-naib/article27955490.ece