South Africa, Afghanistan romp to T20 World Cup wins

Sri Lanka have been blown away for 77 by South Africa and Afghanistan skittled Uganda for 58 as the bowling attacks dominated in lopsided wins at cricket's Twenty20 World Cup.

Anrich Nortje's career-best 4-7 set South Africa up for a six-wicket opening victory near New York on Monday and Fazal Haq Farooqi's maiden five-wicket haul (5-9 off 4 overs) helped Afghanistan to a 125-run win over tournament newcomers Uganda in Guyana.

The Proteas overcame their own hiccups on the two-paced pitch to cross the finish line with 3.4 overs to spare reaching 4-80 at the purpose-built Nassau County Stadium on Long Island.

Backing up Nortje was pacer Kagiso Rabada with 2-21, spinner Keshav Maharaj (2-22) and fast bowler Ottneil Baartman (1-9) in his second T20I.

Opener Kusal Mendis top-scored for Sri Lanka with 19, one of only three to reach double figures.

They were dismissed in 19.1 overs for the 14th lowest score in T20 World Cup history.

Skipper Wanindu Hasaranga took 2-22 but South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen kept a calm head to finish off proceedings with an unbeaten 19.

"We did well to restrict them to a low score," man-of-the-match Nortje said.

"It was an up-and-down wicket, so it was important to get early wickets. These drop-in pitches are tough to bowl on."

Sri Lanka opted to bat first and misread the variable bounce on a pitch that had been grown in Florida and trucked to New York State before being laid in recent weeks.

In hindsight, on a pitch that didn't allow for the usual big T20 hits, Sri Lanka would have been competitive with a total of 100.

"We have three more games and we want to do much better, especially with our batting," Hasaranga said.

At Providence, openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz (76) and Ibrahim Zadran (70) put on a 154-run opening stand that set Afghanistan on course for 4-183.

Simon Ssesazi and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz plays a cut shot en route to top-scoring against Uganda. (AP PHOTO)

The contrast between the teams was starkly demonstrated with the second ball of each innings.

Gurbaz drove the second delivery of the match for a six while Ronak Patel was bowled on the second ball of Uganda's reply.

Uganda captain Brian Masaba had won the toss and decided to field in the hope that an early tournament trend would continue — chasing teams won the first four matches. That streak has ended.

It took Masaba (2-21) until the 15th over to take Uganda's first wicket at a T20 World Cup, dismissing Zadran to break Afghanistan's opening stand.

"First game of the World Cup, a lot of nerves — right now I feel it's good to get that out of the way," Masaba said.

"We will look to play better next game."

Any chance that Uganda had was over in the first power play, with Farooqi taking his two wickets with consecutive perfectly pitched in-swinging deliveries in the first over and Naveen-ul-Haq (2-4) getting two wickets to have the African qualifiers reeling at 5-21 after six overs.

Only two Ugandan batters reached double figures in the fourth-lowest total at a T20 World Cup, before Afghanistan skipper Rashid Khan (2-12) finished off the innings with two wickets in the 16th over.