The South African seamers ran riot on a green top in Abu
Dhabi with Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje each registering their career-best
figures to skittle Bangladesh for 84 all-out. The duo unsettled the Bangladeshi
batters with their pace and bounce, picking up three wickets apiece before the
Proteas comfortably chased down the target with 39 balls and 6 wickets to
In a World Cup that has been characterized by slow, low,
turning wickets, the pitch in Abu Dhabi was a pleasant surprise for the South
Africans as it had plenty to offer for the seamers in terms of bounce, carry
and movement. Kagiso Rabada was the first to capitalize on the conditions on
offer, picking up three wickets in the powerplay. The Bangladeshi batting
lineup was weakened by the absence of the injured Shakib al Hasan, and Rabada
made further inroads, removing Mohammad Naim and Soumya Sarkar off consecutive
deliveries before cramping Mushfiqur Rahim for room with a steep bouncer that
flew to gully.
There was no respite for the Bangladeshi batters as Rabada
was well complemented by Anrich Nortje, who removed the captain Mahmudullah
with another well-directed bumper that ballooned to Aiden Markram at point.
Afif Hossain followed soon after for a golden duck, and Bangladeshi’s troubles
compounded at 45 for six with Shamsi trapping opener Liton Das LBW.
Mahedi Hasan offered some resistance as the only batter with
a strike rate above 100, but Nortje returned to clean up the tail in the 18th
over and finished with figures of 3 for 8 in his 3.2 overs.
Despite chasing only 85, South Africa faced a few hiccups of
their own in the powerplay as seamers Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam found
similar purchase from the wicket. Taskin Ahmed removed Reeza Hendricks and
Aidem Markram, while Quinton de Kock perished after hitting a couple of
boundaries against Mahedi Hasan.
However, Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma eventually
steadied the ship from 33 for three and guided the Proteas home before the 15th
over to give a massive boost to their net run rate.
South Africa’s victory takes them to six points in Group 1
and lifts them to number two in the table above Australia. The Proteas’ fate
now rests firmly in their own hands, and a win against England on Saturday will
all but guarantee their passage into the final four thanks to their superior
net run-rate. Bangladesh, on the other hand, remain winless in the Super 12
stage after four matches and have now been officially eliminated from the
competition along with Sri Lanka.