Bangladesh Opens Up Super Eights
A stunning 67 run victory by Bangladesh over South Africa has opened the door for the West Indies to make the semi finals. This result means that if the West Indies were to win their three remaining matches, the worst they could do is a tie for fourth with the net run rate to determine the semi finalist.
South Africa won the toss and inserted the Bangladeshis. Openers Tamim Iqbal
(38) and Javed Omar
(17) put on 42 for the first wicket with Tamim being adventurous in his strokeplay. This eventually cost him his wicket as charged down the wicket to Andre Nel
and top-edged a bouncer to the 'keeper. The Bangladeshis sat at 179/6 after 42 overs, but instead of collapsing under the pressure as they have done so often in the past, Mohammad Ashraful
(87 off 83 balls) and Mashrafe Mortaza
(25 off 16 balls) accelerated the scoring to take Bangladesh to 251/8. Ashraful played some audacious strokes including a scoop shot to fine leg which he played with great success several times. After scoring several boundaries with that shot, he played it once too often as he scooped an Andre Nel
delivery straight into the hands of deep fine leg. Nel made a case for his continued selection, taking 5 for 45 off 10 overs while Makhaya Ntini
struggled with his length to return figures of 1/61 off 10 overs.
When the South Africans came to bat, they struggled against Bangladesh's three left arm spinners on a slow, bounceless wicket and folded for 184 in 48.4 overs. Only a half century by Herschelle Gibbs
saved South Africa from severe embarrassment on this day. Left arm seamer Syed Rasel
made the initial breakthroughs, taking the big wickets of Graeme Smith
and Jacques Kallis
, both deceived with slower balls. The spin trio of Mohammad Rafique
, Abdur Razzak
and Saqibul Hasan
combined to take 6/96 off 29.4 telling overs. Gibbs (56 n.o.) was the only batsman to suggest any permanence as the South Africans aided the Bangladeshi cause with some poor shot selection. Boucher, de Villiers, Kallis and Kemp contributed significantly to their own demise with poor shots. Gibbs, who re-injured his calf while fielding, batted at number 7 with a runner. He will be an injury concern for the South Africans against the Windies on Tuesday.
This stunning result means that the race for the 4th semi final spot is wide open. England have control of their own destiny, meaning that if they win out, they will claim that spot. However with games against Australia, South Africa and a potential biggie against the Windies to close out the Super 8s, its unlikely that they will be able to run the table. The West Indies, should they win out, will at worst tie for that final spot. The question is: Can they step up to the wicket and deliver when it matters most?
(Cross posted from Rain No Play