South Africa improved their Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final chances by defeating Bangladesh by six wickets.
Bangladesh was bowled out for 84 with 10 balls to spare after falling to 24-3 and 45-6 earlier in the innings. Anrich Nortje took 3-8 in Abu Dhabi, while fellow fast bowler Kagiso Rabada took 3-20.
South Africa fell to 33-3, giving Bangladesh hope, but captain Temba Bavuma’s unbeaten 31 took the Proteas home with 39 balls to spare. South Africa is in second place in Group 1, behind England, with the top two teams advancing to the knockout stages.
Third-placed Australia is also in the running for a semi-final spot, but the Proteas have a better net run rate following their comfortable win over Bangladesh.
As Bangladesh laboured through the powerplay overs, Rabada captured three wickets in five balls to destroy the top order, including trapping Soumya Sarkar for a first-ball duck. When captain Mahmudullah gloved a rising delivery to point, Nortje’s usage of the short ball paid off, and the boundaries dried up as Bangladesh struggled to 40-5 at the midway stage.
In such a tight group, the run-rate might be key, with South Africa knowing that a swift win could increase their semi-final ambitions even more. However, they lost Reeza Hendricks in the first over of their reply before Quinton de Kock was bowled by Mahedi, who had begun to give the innings impetus.
South Africa had lost three wickets in the opening six overs when Aiden Markram went for a duck, edging the outstanding Taskin Ahmed to slip.
Bavuma, a calm batter and captain, responded with a counter-offensive. Before Bavuma launched Nasum Ahmed for a towering six over midwicket, he and Rassie van der Dussen pounded the ball hard. Because the total was so low, neither player had to push the pace or take any risks, allowing them to finish the game in style.