South Africa beat Bangladesh in low-score thriller

South Africa beat Bangladesh in low-score thriller


Towhid Hridoy and Mahmudullah’s middle wicket partnership goes in vain

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NEW YORK (Dunya News) – South Africa pulled out a thrilling four-run victory against Bangladesh in in Group D match of the T20 World Cup 2024 in New York on Monday.

Towhid Hridoy and Mahmudullah’s middle wicket partnership went in vain as South Africa bowlers successfully defended the 114-run target.

Bangladesh were bundled out for 109 runs for seven in 20 overs.

Earlier, South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first. They set an easy target of 114 runs for opponent team. Protease suffered early blows as they lost top four batsmen in quick session. At this time Heinrich Klaasen (46) and David Miller (29) stitched a partnership to recover the team from building pressure.

Their middle wicket partnership helped their side to post a reasonable total of 113 runs. Quinton de Kock made 18 runs while no other player could cross the 10-run mark.

Many factors favoured South Africa. They have never lost to Bangladesh in T20Is. They are familiar with the New York venue, having played both their games here.

Bangladesh did play their warm-up game against India in New York, but that was over a week ago. They can trust their bowling attack, but their top-order batting remains suspect - it was the department that failed in their win over Sri Lanka.

South Africa, too, haven't looked a complete side despite back-to-back wins. Their problems are similar.

They bowled out Sri Lanka for 77 and restricted Netherlands to 103 for 9 but South Africa's top order is also searching for runs. Reeza Hendricks, Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram have a combined average of 13 (39 runs from six innings) so far. In both their wins, they got to the target fairly comfortably in the end because they were chasing small targets.

South Africa's bowlers, though, have been in great form. Anrich Nortje and Ottneil Baartman, in particular, have been among the wickets, while Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen have complemented them well. Keshav Maharaj has done his bit, too, but spin hasn't been a big threat in New York so far.

Bangladesh's quicks also came to the party against Sri Lanka. Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman were impressive each time they bowled in that game, while Tanzim Hasan had his moments, and legspinner Rishad Hossain's 3 for 22 won him the Player-of-the-Match award. He varied his pace subtly but imparted a lot of spin on the ball. Shakib Al Hasan, though, hasn't performed particularly well with the ball since coming to the USA in mid-May.

As for their batting, Soumya Sarkar and Najmul Hossain Shanto continue to fall to soft dismissals, but Litton Das' 36 against Sri Lanka could give him a bit of confidence, while Tanzid Hasan must find runs on the big stage.

Towhid Hridoy is quickly enhancing his reputation as a big hitter - his four sixes against Sri Lanka in Dallas proved the difference in a low-scoring game. Hridoy has now struck 42 sixes in his 15 months of international cricket, comfortably the most among Bangladesh's batters in this period.

Anrich Nortje is working his way back into rhythm after a long injury layoff. He was off the boil in IPL 2024 and then went wicketless in two T20Is in the Caribbean. So far in the T20 World Cup, though, he has been on target, rushing batters with high pace and bounce. Nortje has good memories against Bangladesh at the T20 World Cup too, having taken 4 for 10 against them in Sydney in the 2022 edition.

Bangladesh are waiting on news of Shoriful Islam's fitness. If he is fit, he comes into contention. Otherwise they are likely to stick to the XI that beat Sri Lanka.

South Africa are unlikely to change the combination that has worked so far in New York. They, however, have Gerald Coetzee, Bjorn Fortuin, Ryan Rickelton and Tabraiz Shamsi on the bench, and might be tempted to look in that direction, especially at Rickelton, considering the failures of the top order.