South Africa have been added to the list of causalities that have fallen prey for taking Bangladesh lightly. Yes, the young Bangladeshi Tigers have caused a serious upset by stunning the Proteas with a crushing 67-run win in the Super Eights Match at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. This victory proves that the Tigers’ victory over India was no fluke and provided they play to their potential, they can indeed make their opposition struggle or even panic as in the case of the South Africans today. This defeat against Bangladesh means that the World No.1, of course no longer the No. 1 will have to work a lot harder to enter the Semis.
The ideal situation for Bangladesh to win any match is to put up a 250 plus total and let its spinners strangle the batsmen with their nagging lines and lengths. That was what had happened today with the Bangla batsmen coming good to put up 251 on the board for the loss of 8 wickets after they were put into bat first. And the bowlers with the spinners being the nucleus created the pressure in the middle overs which saw Proteas choke to 184 all out! The Man of the Match was little Mohammad Ashraful scoring an ever so busy 87 from 83 with a dozen boundaries that gave the momentum and the perfect finish. Aftab Ahmed, another little one was the co-star with a 43 ball 35 that had two vital sixes that sailed into the crowd on the onside. Mashrafe Mortaza used the long handle to superb effect to remain undefeated on 25 from 16 with 3 fours and a six as Bangladesh got what they wanted on the board. This was after a solid opening partnership between Javed Omar (17) and Tamim Iqbal (38) which got 42, but most importantly saw the shine off the new ball to make it easy for the middle order bats.
Mr. Extras contributed a more than handy 24 runs and to sum it up it wasn’t tidy bowling at all from the Proteas. The bowlers to suffer were Makhaya Ntini with 1 for 61 in 10 while Charl Langeveldt went for 57 in his 10. Andre Nel did pick up a five-wicket haul with 5 for 45 in 10 and Pollock did his job quietly with 0 for 25 in 10, but the South African attack lacked the variations with as many as six of them bowling right arm pace.
The South Africans in their chase of a competent target lost its two in form batsmen Smith (12) and Kallis (32) to the slow left arm pace of Syed Rasel. Both batsmen fell playing adventurous shots. The double blow of AB de Villiers and Ashwell Prince with the addition of just the three runs got the Tigers to believe that they were in the Driver’s Seat. Another double blow which included the wickets of Boucher and Kemp in the 27th over confirmed just that and this time there was no chance for the South Africans to fightback. At 87 for 6 in 26.5 overs, the backs were against the walls with the required run rate as well going out of favour for the World No.1 Side. Herschelle Gibbs tried his best, but his problem of coming too low down at no.7 meant that he was stranded on an unbeaten 56 from 59 with a boundary and a couple of sixes. Pollock’s wicket was really the last nail in the coffin after he was run out by Tamim Iqbal to have SA at 132 for 7 in the 36th over. Now why Gibbs was asked to bat at no.7 looks to be the million dollar question! Nevertheless, it was one heck of a clinical performance from the Bangladeshi bowlers in bowling out SA for 184 in 48.4 overs. The left arm spin trio of Razzak, Rafique and Saqibul bowled 29.4 overs to take six wickets conceding only 96 runs, now that was match winning efforts. The Proteas better learn to play spin…