South Africa won’t take Afghanistan for granted: Amla

Mumbai, March 19 (IANS) Ahead of their Group 1 clash against Afghanistan in the World Twenty20 cricket tournament, South Africa’s star batsman Hashim Amla stressed that his team won’t take their opposition for granted considering their good show with the bat against Sri Lanka.

South Africa are faced with a must-win situation against Afghanistan after they lost to England in a nail-biting encounter at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, have lost to Sri Lanka in their first match by six wickets and also face a must-win game on Sunday.

Afghanistan posted 153/7 against defending champions Sri Lanka in their first match — certainly an achievement for the minnows.

“We can’t take Afghanistan for granted. They played well against Sri Lanka. They will aim to play well against us. They are a good and exciting team. We have to keep up with our good performance to beat them,” Amla said at the pre-match press conference here.

Although the Proteas posted a formidable 229/4 in their 20 overs, England chased down the target in 19.4 overs with two wickets to spare.

The Faf du Plessis-led South Africa side have been consistent when it comes to batting, but they must get their homework done in their bowling department ahead of the crucial game.

“Our batting line-up has been the best. But I think 229 was a good score for us. As we all know that Wankhede is a high-scoring venue, England played very well to chase down the target,” he said.

“We lacked in bit of basics against England. We gave away too many extras (26, including 20 wides). Hopefully we can rectify the mistakes and put up a good performance on Sunday,” the right-hander said.

The 32-year-old praised England batsman Joe Root for his match-winning 83-run knock which helped them chase down the mammoth total posted by South Africa.

“Root’s innings was a quality one. He had full control of his innings and in the end accelerated to bring down the runs. He played good cricketing shots and did put pressure on us,” he said.

Amla along with his opening partner Quinton de Kock, have come up as a good opening pair, scoring consistently and he hoped they both can carry on their good form in days to come.

“We (Amla-De Kock) do enjoy batting against each other. We both have different styles of playing. We do complement each other. We hope to continue this form in the tournament and in future,” Amla added.

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