LONDON: Bangladesh piled up their highest one-day International total and bowled superbly to upset South Africa by 21 runs in the Cricket World Cup at The Oval on Sunday. It was a major scalp for Bangladesh, underlining their reputation as dangerous outsiders at the tournament, while South Africa slumped to their second successive defeat.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan put together a record partnership as Bangladesh made 330 for six after being put into bat. That meant South Africa needed to pull off the highest run chase in World Cup history, but they ended on 309 for eight and with their next game against India on Wednesday, their chances of making the semi-finals are already under threat.
Mushfiqur and Shakib added 142 runs for the third wicket to notch up Bangladesh’s highest World Cup partnership in an aggressive batting display backed by enthusiastic support. Bangladesh moved on to 217-2 before Shakib was bowled for 75 by Imran Tahir in the 36th over while attempting a sweep shot to a full-pitched ball.
Mushfiqur went for 78 not long after, caught on the boundary off Andile Phehlukwayo. But South Africa, who lost to hosts England at the same venue on Thursday, were unable to keep the brakes on and continued to leak runs right to the end of the innings.
Mahmudullah hit an unbeaten 46 and Mosaddek Hossain scored 26 runs off 20 balls as Bangladesh smashed 54 runs off the last four overs. South Africa had gambled on putting Bangladesh, four places below them in the ODI rankings, into bat and hoping to bounce them out cheaply with their pace attack but that fell flat on a docile wicket, and was exacerbated by a hamstring injury to Lungi Ngidi.
The fast bowler left the field after bowling just four overs and is a doubt for Wednesday. South Africa’s target was a tough one and after Quinton de Kock departed, Aiden Markram (45) was bowled by Shakib to make the Bangladeshi all-rounder, playing his 199th ODI, the fastest player to the double of 5,000 runs and 250 wickets.
Captain Faf du Plessis threatened to lead a successful chase but was bowled for 63, followed by David Miller (38) and Rassie van der Dussen (41) as South African hopes slipped away. Mustafizur Rahman returned the best figures of 3-52 but all six bowlers contributed to keeping South Africa in check with a good variety of deliveries.
Shakib Al Hasan was the Player of the Match for his all-round show. “It will be one of our top wins, we’ve upset a few sides. This is my fourth World Cup, and this is the tournament where we want to prove something. The start can’t get better than this, he said. “This is the start we needed, we had the belief as we came in to England. The dressing room will be happy but they know the job has just started. My two years with Worcestershire helped me a lot. Didn’t know my partnership with Mushfiqur was a record, we needed to hold the innings together, did it perfectly. Confidence is up, but have to play our best cricket against New Zealand, who always do well at ICC events.”
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said: “We were pleased to bat first, after the toss, yes there was some doubt but we knew this was a used wicket, so batting wouldn’t be a bad option. Mushfiqur always plays that kind of innings, Shakib batted so well. Soumya set the tone and we finished off with Mahmudullah and Mosaddek. We knew we had to bowl in the right areas, just keep changing our bowlers around to ensure we pick wickets. Good thing we were able to do well, spinners set the tone.”
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said: “Today didn’t go according to plan. Wasn’t ideal with Lungi getting injured, but 330 was out of par. Not a great performance from us. I wouldn’t have bowled first, but the thinking was, the surface was going to have more pace and bounce. If a subcontinent side gets runs on the board, they could squeeze it later. Even with Lungi’s injury – he’s out death bowler with KG – to go for 54 off the last four was damaging. We came here with a fast bowling attack we wanted to have. Dale Steyn is bowling in the middle now, hopefully there’s some progress. It Skills weren’t there, but we’ll fight. We’re firing at 50-60 percent.”