Bangladesh dominated the Proteas in every department to claim a 21-run win at the Oval, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
The ambience at the Oval was conducive to a classic World Cup clash. The Bangladeshi fans brought with them a festival atmosphere, and the South African fans expectedly joined the vibe as part of the sold-out crowd in London.
Just as in their opener against England, the Proteas had another daunting chase ahead of them. A poor bowling effort from their quicks saw them concede 330 runs on what seemed to be a tasty batting strip. Bangladesh were exquisite with the bat and scored their highest-ever ODI total.
This left South Africa in danger of losing to Bangladesh for the second time in a World Cup, after suffering a defeat in Guyana in 2007. Three players from the current XI – Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shakib Al Hassan and Mushfiqur Rahim – formed part of that victory.
The Proteas embarked on what would have been the highest-ever World Cup chase. With Hashim Amla left out of the starting XI due to injury, Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock opened for the Proteas. The pair had a tentative start as Bangladesh closed off any free-scoring opportunities with tight bowling.
Towards the end of the 10th over, De Kock (23) was dropped by the wicketkeeper, stuttered for a potential run and was eventually comically run out by Mushfiqur, who took off his glove to execute a direct hit.
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Markram opted for a more patient approach than usual. He took 56 balls to score 45 runs and helped the Proteas go past the 100-run mark, but he was bowled by an undercut delivery from Shakib that crashed into his stumps. This was Shakib’s 250th wicket in ODIs.
It was now up to Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis to step up. But he could only manage 62 off 53 deliveries before he skipped down the wicket and was bowled by Mehidy Hasan Miraz. This reduced the Proteas to 147-3 after 26.4 overs.
The Proteas needed a pair at the crease who could bat deep. Rassie van der Dussen joined David Miller and strung together a 55-run partnership before Miller (38) was picked out at backward point for Mustafizur Rahman’s first wicket.
Van der Dussen’s knock ended on 41 with the Proteas on 228, and Andile Phehlukwayo lost his wicket for eight shortly after the Proteas brought up 250.
Morris only managed 10 before losing his wicket as the Proteas crumbled to 275-7.
Duminy (45 off 37 balls) was the Proteas’ last hope, but he chopped the ball on to his stumps with a misjudged pull shot.
The Proteas managed to reach 309-8 as they slumped to their second defeat of the tournament.
Photo: India TV /Twitter