As they defeated South Africa by 21 runs in the ICC World Cup 2019 on Sunday, 2 June, the all-round clinical performance by Bangladesh convinced almost everyone that the result was anything but an upset.
But 12 years ago, when Bangladesh had beaten the Proteas in a Super Eight fixture in the 2007 World Cup, it was very much so.
The template was somewhat similar, as even back then, South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first. However, unlike Sunday’s match, South Africa’s four-pronged pace attack of Pollock, Ntini, Nel and Langeveldt, pegged the Bangla Tigers back as they lost four wickets under 100 runs. Andre Nel was the wrecker-in-chief, picking up five wickets.
However, an 83-ball 87 by Mohammad Ashraful and some lower middle order consolidation by Aftab Ahmed and Masrafe Mortaza meant that Bangladesh posted 251 at the loss of eight wickets, from their 50 overs.
Pretty much like Sunday’s clash, the South African batting could never really get hold of the 252-run chase as they slumped to 87/6 by the 27th over. Pacer Syed Rasel picked up a couple of wickets and the left arm spin duo of Abdur Razzak and Shakib al Hasan shared five wickets between them, stifling the Proteas’ run chase.
Herschelle Gibbs who came at No 6, scored a half century and with some able assistance by Shaun Pollock, raised some hopes but the team bundled out for 184 in 48.4 overs, handing over a 67-run victory to Bangladesh.
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Both the teams however, could not progress to the semi-finals of the tournament.