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T20 WC: Tigers fall short in low run chase against S Africa

Cricket 2024-06-11, 9:17am


Tiger Mahmudullah Riyad reacts as he walks off the field after losing his wicket during the ICC Mens T20 World Cup cricket match between Bangladesh and South Africa. AP Photo. Adam Hunger.

New York, Jun 10 — Bangladesh nearly secured their first-ever T20 victory against South Africa in New York on Monday, ultimately falling short by mere four runs in their second match of the ongoing T20 World Cup.

Despite losing all eight previous encounters with South Africa, Bangladesh came within a whisker of breaking their duck but failed to secure their second World Cup win. 

However, a spectacular catch by South African captain Aiden Markram denied them a rare triumph. Mahmudullah Riyad's shot off a full-toss by Keshav Maharaj sailed towards the boundary, but Markram's outstretched hand intervened.

Needing 11 runs in the final over to achieve the historic win, Bangladesh faltered. Keshav Maharaj bowled a wide on the first delivery but conceded just three runs and took a crucial wicket in the subsequent three balls. Despite needing six runs off the last two balls, Bangladesh failed to score the needed runs.

Before Markram’s second-last-ball catch, Bangladesh lost Towhid Hirdoy for 37— Bangladesh’s best scorer in the match. Had he lasted a bit longer, the result of the match would have been different. His dismissal to Kagiso Rabada was among the turning points of the match. 

Bangladesh started cautiously, scoring only one run in the first over. Tanzid Hasan Tamim provided a brief glimmer of hope with two fours, but his innings was cut short by Kagiso Rabada, who dismissed him with an angled delivery that kissed the bat and found its way to the wicketkeeper.

Regular wickets and a slow scoring rate hampered Bangladesh's progress. Mahmudullah held one end securely, keeping the scoreboard ticking, but he could not see the team through to victory.

Bangladesh ended their innings at 109 for seven, succumbing to a narrow four-run defeat.

Earlier, Bangladesh bowlers, led by last-minute World Cup squad addition Tanzim Hasan Sakib, showcased a masterful performance on a pitch known to favor bowlers. South Africa were restricted to a modest 113 for six wickets in their 20 overs after electing to bat first.

Sakib delivered a remarkable spell, claiming three wickets for 18 runs in four overs. He cleaned up the top order for South Africa, including Reeza Hendricks and Tristan Stubbs for ducks.

But he would have most enjoyed the one of the dangerous Quinton de Kock, who was starting to look very threatening with 18 off 10 balls, but Sakib clean bowled him with a nippy delivery from round the wicket to the left-hander. 

Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, and Rishad Hossain complemented Sakib with tight lines and lengths, restricting South Africa to less than 30 runs in the final five overs. The crucial dismissals of Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller by Taskin and Rishad, respectively, further hampered South Africa's final efforts.

The Bangladeshi fans, who had filled the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium to the brim, erupted in cheers with each small success of Bangladesh. This was Bangladesh's first international match at the new venue, located approximately an hour's drive from Manhattan, the heart of New York. 

Bangladesh will now travel to the West Indies for their next two group-stage matches against the Netherlands and Nepal. With a win against Sri Lanka already under their belt, another victory would significantly boost their chances of advancing to the next phase of the tournament. - UNB