South Africa’s resounding 206 run victory over minnows Bangladesh in their last league match in World Cup not only taken them to top Group B table, but also assured berths to India, England and West Indies.
Bangladesh disappointed their home crowd having got thrashed by Proteas. They were bowled out for 78 runs in 28 overs, while chasing South Africa’s 284 for 8 to win the Group B match and secure a World Cup quarterfinal spot.
Only Tigers’ captain Shakib Al-Hasan made double figures (30 off 49 balls) as the team fell to the guiles of left-arm spinner Robin Peterson (4 for 12) and seam from left-arm pace bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe (3 for 14).
Many Bangla fans expected their home team to repeat their 2007 World Cup performance when their team stunned Proteas with an emphatic 60-odd run victory..
Ironically, Bangladesh’s 283-9 in reply to India’s 370-4 in an 87-run loss in the opening match remains its highest total in the tournament so far.
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to bat, then shared a 98-run opening stand with Hashim Amla before he was stumped for 45. Jacques Kallis was among three batsman to score half centuries as South Africa notched up 284, setting Bangladesh a challenging target to win the Group B match and secure a World Cup quarterfinal spot.
Amla was out for 51 with the addition of nine to the total, and then Kallis shared stands of 34 with JP Duminy (17) and 82 with Faf du Plessis (52) before giving a return catch to Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan and was out for 69. Rubel Hossain took a wicket in the last over and finished with 3-56, while Shakib returned 2-46. Hossain’s three-wicket haul included Duminy, du Plessis and Wayne Parnell (0) and had Faf du Plessis (52). He also had Johan Botha (12) run out late in the inningsSouth Africa, already qualified for the quarterfinals, rested key bowlers Dayle Steyn, Morne Morkel and veteran batsman AB de Villiers.
With this emphatic win, South Africa occupies the top position in Group B with 10 points.
If India beat West Indies in their last round-robin league match, then it will automatically take the second place with 9 points, while England and West Indies, third and fourth places with 7 and 6 points respectively. As on today, West Indies hold better run quotient than Bangladesh, though it too end up with 6 points, if they lose tomorrow’s match. But, if they win, then they can as well take the second spot in Group B, pushing India and England to third and fourth positions.