Cardiff: South Africa kept alive their slim hopes of reaching the World Cup semi-finals, crushing Afghanistan by nine wickets on Saturday to record their first victory at the tournament at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on Saturday.
Faf du Plessis’s side endured a torrid start to their campaign, losing their first three matches before a no result against the West Indies.
But the outcome never looked in doubt in Cardiff, with man-of-the-match Imran Tahir taking four wickets as South Africa bundled out their opponents for a meagre 125 after two rain delays cut the match to 48 overs per side.
South Africa took their time in chasing their target but Afghanistan, who look out of their depth at the World Cup with four defeats in four matches, did not have the weapons to trouble their opponents.
Hashim Amla (41 not out) and Quinton de Kock (68), put on 104 for the first wicket before Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib had De Kock caught by Mohammad Nabi.
Amla and Andile Phehlukwayo saw South Africa over the line as they reached their revised target of 127 with 116 balls remaining.
There was little sign of the carnage to come when Hazratullah Zazai and Noor Ali Zadran put on 39 runs for Afghanistan's first wicket.
Zazai was the first to go and when leg-spinner Tahir bowled Zadran for 32 with his first ball and then caught Asghar Afghan off his own bowling for nought in the same over, Afghanistan were in deep trouble.
Nabi became the third Afghan batsman to lose his wicket in the space of seven balls when he was bowled by Phehlukwayo.
When Naib was caught by Aiden Markram of the bowling of Tahir, Afghanistan were teetering on the brink of disaster at 77/7.
Rashid Khan struck 35 from 25 balls, with six fours, but even his late flourish could only lift the score to 125.