Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Match Report – BAN vs SA 21st Match, Group D, June 10, 2024

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South Africa 113 for 6 (Klaasen 46, Miller 29, Tanzim 3-18, Taskin 2-19) beat Bangladesh 109 for 7 (Hridoy 37, Maharaj 3-27, Nortje 2-17, Rabada 2-19) by four runs

South Africa survived an almighty scare to to maintain a 100% win-record at the T20 World Cup 2024, and in New York, where they chose to bat first in their final fixture at Eisenhower Park. On a used wicket, Aiden Markram decided to put a total on the board and it almost looked like a mistake. South Africa were 23 for 4 but a record 79-run fifth-wicket stand between Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller took them to 113, which they scrapped hard to defend.
Bangladesh’s start was not ideal and the were 50 for 4 after 10 overs but Towhid Hridoy and Mahmudullah put on 44 for the fifth-wicket and got them back on track. They almost also got them over the line and will look back on one incident which could have forced a Super Over. In the 17th over, Mahmudullah missed a flick off Ottneil Baartman, which hit his front pad and deflected to the boundary for what looked like four leg byes. But he was given out off that ball, which made it dead at the point of impact, and reviewed the decision. Ball-tracking showed he was not out but because he had been given out, the four runs did not count. In the end Bangladesh fell short by four runs. That, and their inability to capitalise on Keshav Maharaj bowling the final over for the first time in T20I and sending down three full tosses, cost them the game.

Maharaj was tasked with the final over after Markram bowled the seamers out earlier and it seemed a miscalculation but he got two wickets as Bangladesh sought to clear the boundary and neither Jakar Ali nor Mahmudullah could. Mahmudullah was out on the penultimate ball, off a full toss, to a well-timed running catch by Markram from long-on which all but ended Bangladesh’s hopes.

South Africa leave the USA with three wins from three matches and will move to St. Vincent to play Nepal in their last group match. They are in pole position to qualify for the Super 8s. Bangladesh also head to the Caribbean and will play Netherlands and Nepal, with the Super 8s still in sight.

For all the talk about the power of their batting line-up, South Africa’s top three have underperformed thus far albeit on tough batting surfaces. Collectively, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks and Markram have scored 61 runs in nine trips to the crease at an average of 6.77. Of teams that have played at least two matches at the tournament, only Uganda and PNG average lower.

The biggest concern will be Hendricks, whose scores of 4, 3 and 0 are the lowest of the trio and whose methods of dismissal appear to show a technical deficiency. Twice in two games, Hendricks has been stuck in his crease and then played down the wrong line. He’ll be looking over his shoulder knowing fellow opener Ryan Rickelton is waiting on the bench and, with South Africa finding themselves 23 for 3, could get an opportunity in the next match.

Things got even worse when Tristan Stubbs was dismissed for a duck in the fifth over. South Africa have only lost their first four wickets by end of the fifth over on five occasions in men’s T20Is and two of them came in this competition. Happily for them, they had Klaasen and Miller on hand to shore up the mid-section of the innings.

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