Bangladesh pulled up another victory by defeating World number one team South Africa by 67 runs in a Super 8 clash in Guyana. The win came as a surprise shock to the champions who looked to dominate the Bangladeshis with their strategy and points standings. But the minnows were not to get overawed as they countered the South African attack and eventually brought their downfall.
The best part of the victory was that the Bangladeshis played to their strength by bowling slow on a dry wicket with three spinners and stifling the South African batsmen who succumbed to the ploy. Sent in to bat by captain Graeme Smith, the Bangladeshis made a cautious start with both Tamim Iqbal and Javed Omar. But it was the standout and breezy knock of Mohammad Ashraful that saw the team reach a total of 251 for 8. Ashraful arrived at the crease with four wickets own but he picked up the momentum with a 76 run partnership with Aftab Ahmad. Ashraful made a commendable 87 runs that included 12 boundaries! To sum up the Bangladesh team’s effort, the team garnered a whopping 80 runs in the last 10 overs just at the loss of 3 wickets, an effort that stood in complete contrast to the earlier ones!
The South African team never seemed to get going even with a world-class batting lineup comprising the likes of Kallis, Smith, Gibbs, de Villiers, and Kemp. There were stop-starts with both the openers failing to set the stage on fire. They were bogged down by some tight bowling and exemplary fielding of the Bangladeshis who created the pressure that brought their downfall. A classic example of this was the wicket of AB de Villiers who was tied down and in a bid to create a shot was clean bowled by spinner Razzak. The same was the story of captain Graeme Smith who too perished in a bid to manufacture a shot rather than stick to the basics. The South Africans never had the momentum to chase a total of 250 runs and kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
The Bangladeshis deserved to win against a lackadaisical South African team which gave glimpses of overconfidence against a relatively inexperienced Bangladesh outfit that led to their debacle. Bangladesh with two major victories has sent a strong message that they as a team have arrived and cannot be taken lightly on any given day!