Bangladesh took the fight to the Proteas by scoring an impressive 330-6 in their 50 overs at the Oval, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
The sold-out Oval had a different buzz about it compared to the match against England. The reason? Bangladesh fans came in swarms to support their side in their first match of the campaign. This had a major influence on the overwhelmingly lively atmosphere throughout the ground.
Instead of the Proteas giving their batsmen a full opportunity to gain some momentum and get proper batting practice ahead of India on Wednesday, they opted to bowl first, putting pressure on their batting lineup to once again chase.
The Bangladesh opening pair, Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar, seemed to favour Faf du Plessis’ decision and entertained their fans with some swash-buckling cricket. They raced to 58-0 in eight overs. Lungi Ngidi, in particular, took a beating, conceding 34 runs in four overs, before leaving the field due to some discomfort he felt in his left hamstring.
Du Plessis brought in Andile Phehlukwayo in an attempt to make a difference and he struck with his second delivery, finding the dangerman Tamim’s edge for 16.
Morris came into the attack and he struck in his first over, removing Soumya (42 off 30 balls) with a short delivery that he sliced off his glove to a forward-diving Quinton de Kock who gathered it cleanly behind the stumps.
Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim showed their experience and brought solidness to their side’s innings by scoring their fifth century partnership as a pair that was valued at 142 runs. The highest Bangladeshi partnership at a World Cup.
Tahir, on his 100th ODI, broke the partnership. He bowled Shakib for 75 off 84 balls and gave the Proteas a chance to rectify a poor start.
The 40-year-old struck again, to reduce Bangladesh to 242-4 after 39.4 overs, as the Proteas desperately attempted to claw back the run rate to keep the total below 300. He finished his 10 overs with 2-57.
Phehlukwayo aided their mission by removing Mushfiqur (78 off 80 balls), who slapped at a full delivery and picked out Rassie van der Dussen at deep point.
Bangladesh, through cameo knocks from Mahmudullah (46 off 33 balls) and Mosaddek Hossain (26) took the Tigers over the 300-run mark handing the Proteas another difficult chase.
They ended on 330-6, their highest ever total in ODIs.