Magala and Bavuma help South Africa cruise to victory
South Africa gained ten points on World Cup Super League table with victory over Netherlands.
BENONI (Web Desk) - South Africa gained ten crucial points on the World Cup Super League table by cruising to victory over Netherlands. The win puts South Africa on the same number of points as eighth-placed West Indies, who have played all their matches, bringing the hosts within reach of automatic qualification for this year's fifty-over World Cup.
To secure their spots without going through the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe in June, South Africa need to beat Netherlands again on Sunday and hope that Ireland lose at least once to Bangladesh in May. On the evidence of this match, the first of those is possible.
The Adelaide anomaly - when the Dutch defeated South Africa and cost them a place in the semi-final - appeared long-banished as the hosts bowled an inexperienced Netherlands line-up out for under 200 and chased it down in 30 overs. Temba Bavuma and Aiden Markram scored half-centuries and shared an unbeaten third-wicket stand of 102 to take South Africa to an easy win after Sisanda Magala and Tabraiz Shamsi claimed three wickets apiece in conditions that offered both swing and turn.
South Africa lost Quinton de Kock early in the chase, when he top-edged a sweep off Aryan Dutt and was caught at backward square leg. It wasn't long before Netherlands suffered the bigger blow. Dutt bowled one more over and then had to leave the field after colliding with Musa Ahmed in the deep with what looked like a knee injury. Dutt did not return to the field and was seen on the sidelines gingerly testing out his ability to put weight on his right leg.
Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen put South Africa on track with a second-wicket stand of 70. Van der Dussen was aggressive from the get go and drove the fourth ball he faced through the covers for four. He was equally confident on the back foot and his next two boundaries came as he hung back in his crease before he struck three successive fours off Shariz Ahmad, all with the pull shot. Van der Dussen outscored Bavuma and was racing towards the finish when he was undone by Fred Klaasen bouncer that he top-edged to Musa at midwicket.
Markram took over from van der Dussen and was alongside Bavuma, who brought up fifty with a loft over mid-off with rain in the air. Although South Africa were well ahead of the DLS requirements, both batters pushed on. Bavuma scored 40 runs off the next 24 he faced and flirted with getting to a third ODI century. Instead, it was Markram who got to a sixth ODI fifty, off 37 balls. Bavuma hit the winning runs off the last ball of the 30th over, to seal an important win.
The home batters would have been comfortable with the task they were set after their attack kept Netherlands largely quiet even as they notched up their second-highest ODI score against South Africa. Apart from forties from Vikramjit Singh and Teja Nidamanuru, no other Dutch batter made more than 18 and they unravelled after a good start.
Max O'Dowd and Vikramjit posted a 58-run opening stand dominated by Vikramjit. He took on all the bowlers he faced and his coup de grace was hitting Kagiso Rabada for two sixes in his fourth over. O'Dowd was less proactive, especially against a searing opening spell by Marco Jansen, and walked when he tried to steer Magala to deep third but edged to de Kock instead. Vikramjit launched one more six before he mistimed a chip over mid-off to Bavuma and was dismissed five short of a half-century. Netherlands lost their third wicket three overs later, when Wesley Barresi picked out Rabada on the fine leg boundary as he tried to flick Anrich Nortje over.
At 81 for 3 in the 18th over, it was up to captain Scott Edwards and Musa to steady things but Edwards was sucked into a drive off Nortje and edged to Jansen at slip. Musa nicked Tabraiz Shamsi off and Netherlands were 105 for 5 after 26 overs.
Nidamanuru took the fight to South Africa when he whipped a Jansen half-volley over backward square leg for six and then shuffled across to hit him over square leg. He shared a 30-run stand with Dutt which threatened but Dutt sent a Shamsi wrong'un to Rabada at deep midwicket. Nidamanuru fell for 48 when he feathered an edge off Magala and South Africa were into the Dutch tail. They lost their last six wickets for 84 runs and would have known their total was unlikely to be enough.