What a victory for Bangladesh! They might have won by only 21 runs, the smallest margin of victory in the World Cup 2019 so far but they certainly outplayed South Africa in all the departments of the game and right through it. They become the fifth team to register 2 points on the World Cup points table with India yet to play a game.
It all started with Soumya Sarkar’s belligerent attack on Lungi Ngidi. By the time Soumya Sarkar (42 from 30) was out to a slower ball from Chris Morris in the twelfth over, Bangladesh was scoring at the rate of 6.5 runs per over. With Tamim Iqbal also having been caught behind before, Shakib Al Hasan (75 from 84) and Mushfiqur Rahim (78 from 80) further strengthened Bangladesh’s position. The duo put together a 142 run partnership at a run a ball and got Bangladesh past 200 in 32 overs. The stage was set for a big score and the batsmen that followed did not disappoint.
Bangladesh was 250 for 4 when Mushfiqur Rahim got out on the first ball of the thirty third over. Mossadek Hussein then played a cameo of 26 runs off 20 balls and Mahmudullah remained not out on 46 runs from 33 balls. The last 4 overs yielded 54 runs as South Africa’s fielding floundered. Lungi Ngidi limped off the ground after bowling just 4 overs and Rabada conceded 57 wicketless runs from his ten overs. 73 runs came from Chris Morris’ 10 overs and South Africa were set a target of 331 runs, which if successful would be the highest run chase in a World Cup match.
South Africa was going well although behind on the run rate when Quinton de Kock was run out. Mushfiqur Rahim had dropped a catch and a nervous de Kock set out for a run. The alert wicket keeper collected the ball and threw the stumps down to catch de Kock out of his ground. None of the batsmen who followed stayed at the wicket despite forming good partnerships. Aiden Markram (45 from 56), Faff du Plessis (62 off 53), David Miller (38 off 43), HE van der Dussen (41 off 38) and JP Duminy (45 off 37) all fell when trying to force the pace.
The Bangladeshi bowlers, on the other hand, bowled a tight length and line. Mehidy Hassan (1 for 44), Shakib Al Hassan (1 for 50) and the other spinners choked the runs and forced the South African batsmen to go on the attack thus losing their wickets. Mustafizur Rahman bowled well to claim 3 wickets for 67 runs. Mohammed Saifuddin dismissed van der Dussen and Andile Pehlukwayo. South Africa eventually lost the match by 21 runs, their second loss after succumbing to England in the inaugural match.
The South Africans have a lot to worry about as they go into a crucial match against India at Southampton on Wednesday. The talismanic Hashim Amla is injured after being hit by a Jofra Archer in their match against England. Dale Steyn is still recovering from a shoulder injury and Lungi Nigidi did not take the field after limping off the ground because of a pulled leg muscle. Bangladesh is to play New Zealand on at the Kennington Oval on Thursday.