Shafiqullah Ghafari, The Afghan leg-spinner returns sensational bowling figures of 6/15 to spin a web around hosts South Africa in the tournament opener. (Source: Twitter)

The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup started on a bang on Friday. In the very first match of the tournament, Afghanistan beat South Africa, who are being considered as title contenders. This tournament is being played in South Africa only. There are 16 teams taking part in the tournament, which are divided into four groups. There will be 48 matches in this 26-day World Cup.

The first match of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup was played on Friday at the Diamond Oval ground here. In the first match of the World Cup, Afghanistan defeated South Africa by seven wickets. The hero of Afghanistan’s victory was leg-spinner Shafiqullah Ghafari. He took six wickets. He did not allow the batsmen of the host team to score big. South Africa Under-19 team, batting first, collapsed by scoring 129 runs in 29.1 overs.

Afghanistan’s under-19 team started the World Cup victorious by easily losing the target by losing three wickets in 25 overs. Captain and opener Farhan Zakhil was out early only on 11 runs. After this, Ibrahim Zadran and Imran took the team beyond 100. Imran was dismissed on a personal score of 57 and Zadran for 52 runs. Afghanistan’s score was 106 when the batsman Imran was dismissed.
Rahmanullah scored three and Abid Mohammadi was dismissed by two runs. Prior to this, South Africa could touch the double figures of only three batsmen of the under-19 team. Captain Bryce Parsons scored the most 40 runs. Gerald Coetzee contributed 38 runs. Luke Beaufort scored 25 runs. Apart from Ghafri for Afghanistan, Noor Ahmed and Fazal Haq took two wickets each.

The Indian team will start their campaign in the tournament on Sunday. His first match is to be from Sri Lanka. The Indian team is going down as the defending champions in the Under-19 World Cup under the captaincy of Priyam Garg. There will be pressure on him to save this title. The final of the tournament will be played on 9 February.

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