Cricket World Cup 2019: Experienced men stand tall for Bangladesh in 21-run win over South Africa

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Bangladesh start with a bang. Image - CricketWorldCup/Twitter.

Experienced turned out to be key for Bangladesh as they made a winning start to their 2019 ICC World Cup campaign against a formidable South Africa at The Oval.

Bangladesh prevailed by 21 runs in a tight contest in London as the Proteas fell to their second consecutive defeat in the tournament.

South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis’ decision to bat first after winning the toss didn’t pay dividends with the Proteas bowling attack conceding more than 300 runs for the second game in a row.

Led by half-centuries from the bats of Mushfiqur Rahim (78) and Shakib Al Hasan (75), Bangladesh posted 330-6.

Opener Soumya Sarkar gave Bangladesh a blazing start with a 30-ball 42 before Shakib and Mushfiqur consolidated the advantage with a record third-wicket stand worth 142.

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir brought South Africa back into the game with two wickets but Mahmudullah (46) and Mossadek Hossain (26) ensured that Bangladesh ended their innings with a bang.

In response, South Africa lost wickets at regular intervals as they attempted a record World Cup chase but it proved to be too tall an order in the end as they finished on 308-9.

Openers Quinton de Kock (23) and Aiden Markram (45) both got good starts but were unable to kick on. Skipper du Plessis registered a fine fifty (62) before his innings was ended by the excellent Mehidy Hasan with Bangladesh’s spinner’s thriving.

Rassie van der Dussen (41) and JP Duminy (45) raised South Africa’s hopes with a threatening stand but Bangladesh’s bowlers bounced back at the death in style with a flurry of wickets.

KEY TAKEAWAY

Experienced core to the fore for Bangladesh

Bangladesh came into the World Cup with an experienced core and it proved to be the difference in their fine win over the Proteas.

With the bat, Mushfiqur and Shakib set up an excellent platform with a 142-run stand. Both batsmen registered fifties on the day before Mahmudullah provided the finishing flourish in the death overs.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib show their experience.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib show their experience.

The 33-year-old struck a 33-ball 46 as Bangladesh scored 54 runs off the final four overs of the innings. Those late runs proved to be crucial in the end given the game’s tight margins.

Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and stalwart Tamim Iqbal did not have the best of the days but their experience should also show through at some stage. With five players who have all played a minimum of 150 ODIs, the Tigers are no longer the pushovers they once were and the Proteas will definitely not be their last big scalp in the tournament.

KEY MAN

Shakib Al Hasan

The Bangladesh star had reclaimed the No1 ICC ranking for all-rounders coming into the World Cup and he justified that tag with an accomplished display with both bat and ball.

He first ensured that Bangladesh made the most of a blistering start provided by opener Sarkar with a 142-run stand for the third wicket alongside Mushfiqur.

The southpaw struck one six and eight boundaries in his 75-run knock which came at almost run-a-ball and helped assert Bangladesh’s dominance in the middle overs with what was his 43rd ODI fifty.

He then followed it up with a super bowling display where he castled the well-set Markram while being highly economical in his 10-over spell (1-50).

In the process, Shakib became only the fifth all-rounder in ODI history to score at least 5,000 runs and claim 250 wickets and the fastest to do so – 199 matches.

KEY STAT

The 330-6 accumulated by Bangladesh’s batsmen is their highest ODI total in history. The excellent showing by Mashrafe Mortaza and his men is the best batting format in the 2019 World Cup so far as well and eclipses the 311-8 put up by England’s batsmen against South Africa in the tournament opener.

The previous highest ODI total by Bangladesh was the 329-6 they scored against Pakistan at Dhaka in 2015.

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