South Africa crashed to their second straight defeat- the first time in their history they’ve begun a World Cup campaign with two losses, as Bangladesh stunned them at the Oval. Here are our talking points from the game.
Rabada’s dropped catch of Mahmudullah
This South Africa squad is a pale shadow of the side that set new standards for fielding in the 90’s. In the first ball of the 47th over, Mahmudullah Riyad tried to hoick Chris Morris over the deep backward square boundary, only for Kagiso Rabada to drop a relatively easy catch. That drop was a big game changing moment- Bangladesh went on to score 54 in their last four overs and Morris, who began bowling at the death with 1/44 in his 8 overs, went for 29 in his last two.
South Africa needed the same number of runs from their last four, but could only manage 30 odds runs as they slumped to a demoralising defeat.
Lungi Ngidi breaks down early into his spell
Ngidi has been a key part of South Africa’s bowling lineup but fans who have watched the Proteas over the last couple of seasons would’ve also noticed his tendency to break down frequently. South Africa chose one injury prone bowler in Dale Steyn in their WC XV, and can ill-afford to see more of their pacers head into the physio room. Ngidi limping off with an injury just four overs into his spell wrecked havoc with Faf’s plans after he had won the toss and sent Bangladesh in, with the Proteas skipper forced to turn to part timer Aiden Markram.
If Steyn doesn’t recover for the India clash, South Africa may be forced to change strategy and opt for two spinners for the Rose Bowl- not because they want to, but simply because they don’t have quality back-up pace options in their reserves.
This wasn’t an upset, it was a comprehensive Bangladesh win
Bangladesh dominated South Africa from start to finish. Opener Soumya Sarkar set the tone with some fine attacking shots against the Proteas pacers, and the Tigers never looked back. They were better than South Africa in all three facets of the game, and were well deserved winners at the end. There was no choke here because at no point of time did South Africa appear to be ahead of the ball game. This fixture also saw them register their highest ever total in ODI’s.
A special milestone for Shakib Al Hasan
Shakib became the fastest all-rounder to reach the double of 5,000 runs and 250 wickets in ODI’s. He was instrumental with the bat too, scoring 75 off 84 and adding 142 for the third wicket with Mushfiqur Rahim- Bangladesh’s best ever partnership in World Cup history. Picked up Aiden Markram with a fine delivery as well, and finished with fine figures of 1/50 in his 10 overs.
Proteas strangulated by spin in middle overs
With Amla out due to concussion issues, South Africa had only real good player of spin in their ranks and that was Faf du Plessis. It was strangulation by spin for the Proteas, who struggled to find the boundary in the middle overs. The troika of Shakib, Mehidy Hasan and Mosaddek Hossain conceded just five fours in the 26 overs they bowled together. Mehidy, who also got the key wicket of Du Plessis, gave away just 44 in his ten overs. The rising run rate told on South Africa’s fragile middle order, who wilted under scoreboard pressure.