Bangladesh silenced their critics in style and crushed world number one South Africa at Providence Stadium in Guyana. Bangladesh came into the match after suffering two crushing defeats in their last two games and had to justify their elevation to the Super Eights in today's match. And they did it in style by defeating top ranked South Africa by 67 runs.
The good work of Bangladeshi batsmen was equally supported by the bowlers as they emerged as the better team in every discipline with some electrifying fielding. Captain Habibul Bashar used his bowlers with excellent effect and kept the pressure on South Africans right from the beginning with very good field placements. Scoring runs seemed to be one of the most difficult jobs in the world as batsmen could not find gaps in either side of the wicket.
Chasing a victory target of 252 in 50 overs, South Africa lost their way at the very beginning by some tight bowling from Bangladeshi opening bowlers and when captain Graeme Smith fell to Syed Rasel, Soth Africa?s demise started immediately. Syed Rasel bowled with lots of variation and took the pace off to deceive Smith.
Kallis tried to steady the innings with de Villiers and lifted South Africa to 63-1 but Syed Rasel struck again and broke the partnership by removing Kallis with a gem of delivery. Bangladeshi slow left arm bowlers kept the things tight and got the reward when Ashwell prince ran himself out feeling the pressure.
Mohammad Ashraful led the Bangladesh's revival with a fine 87.
Mohammad Ashraful led Bangladesh's revival with a brilliant 87 © Cricinfo
Experienced campaigner Mark Boucher tried to break the shackle but fell to Saqibul Hasan immediately after hitting a powerful six. Bangladesh eventually took the control of the game when Justin Kemp returned a simple catch to Saqib in the very next delivery. The world number one team were reduced to 87-6 by world number 9 team and South Africa never recovered from that position and eventually bundled out for 184 in 48.4 overs conceding a 67 run defeat.
Some late strike from Herschelle Gibbs who played as no.7 batsman due to calf muscle injury could only reduce the margin of defeat.
Bangladesh used only five front line bowlers to bundle south Africa and all bowlers except Mashrafe Mortaza joined the party. Abdur Razzak was the pick of the bowlers and took 3 wickets for 25 runs. Saqibul Hasan and Syed Rasel grabbed two wickets each for 49 runs and 41 runs respectively. Experienced Mohammad Rafique was the most economic bowler and conceded only 22 runs from his 10 over and took 1 wicket. Bangladesh?s slow left arm army proved too much for the Proteas as they shared 6 wickets between them in 29.4 overs giving away only 96 runs.
Earlier, Bangladesh posted challenging 251/8 in 50 overs riding on a blazing 87 run off 83 balls by young batting prodigy Mohammad Ashraful. Ashraful hammered 12 boundaries in his masterful innings and that laid the foundation for the memorable victory.
South Africa Captain Graeme Smith won the toss and sent Bangladesh to bat under overcast conditions. The pitch was expected to offer some early assistance due to continuous rain over the last couple of days.
Bangladesh started cautiously and after a sedate opening partnership of 42 between Javed Omar (17 off 41 balls) and young Tamim Iqbal (38 off 59 balls), Bangladesh were in a spot of bother after losing captain Habibul Bashar (5) and Saqibul Hasan (9) cheaply. Mohammad Ashraful shared a crucial 87 run partnership with Aftab Ahmed in the 5th wicket to steady Bangladesh.
Aftab scored 35 runs off 43 deliveries with 2 boundaries and 2 huge sixes. After his departure a Bangladesh maintained the acceleration with a fluent 54 run partnership between Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Mortaza who scored a quick fire 25 runs off just 16 deliveries with 3 boundaries and 1 six.
Andre Nel was the pick of the South African attack and took 5 wickets for 45 runs. Ntini and Kallis picked 1 wicket each but went for runs. Shaun Pollock bowled well with no luck.