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Twenty20 World Championship, 2007


Feisty Tigers gunned down by South Africa

15 September 2007

A feisty Bangladesh succumbed to a seven wicket defeat against host South Africa in the second and final group stage match of the Twenty20 world cup at Newlands in Cape Town today.

Chasing a modest target of 145 to win, South Africa eased to victory with 7 balls to spare after withstanding the ferocious onslaught by Bangladesh top order.

The hosts didn't need a reminder of the potential for an upset after losing to Bangladesh in the World Cup in Guyana, but the Tigers came out firing a little too hard and failed to keep the gun blazing to post a challenging total.

Both South Africa and Bangladesh went for their full strength team in the dead rubber, and the intensity of the match showed that it was more than a meaningless affair. Bangladesh's start showed the true color of the Twenty20 cricket when they raced to 50 in just 3.4 overs playing stupendous shots all over the park.

Put into bat after losing the toss, the Tigers knew they had nothing to lose and duly came out with a fearless approach that is a rare sight in world cricket. The tigers showed no respect to bowlers like Pollock and Ntini, and the sizzling started right from the very first ball .

Alok Kapali’s struggle with bat was painful to watch

Alok Kapali’s struggle with bat was painful to watch © Cricinfo

The sweltering display continued despite regular loss of wickets and their all-or-nothing approach was epitomised by skipper Mohammad Ashraful who smacked a six and a four off consecutive Shaun Pollock deliveries before skying the next one to mid-on.

This was Twenty20 cricket at its best, but the fireworks didn't last too long. After flying with an incredible 13 runs per over, the Tigers were gunned down by the determined Saffers who were up to avenge their world cup defeat.

Aftab Ahmed was at his supreme best and did the majority of the damage up front, hitting 5 fours and 2 effortless sixes scoring 36 from just 14 deliveries before swinging at one too many and having his stumps rattled by man of the match Morne Morkel .

While first 10 overs were full of blistering stroke play, the last 10 overs exposed the inability of Bangladesh middle order to cope with the need of Twenty20 cricket. A sedate 35 ball 14 from Alok Kapali who ironically played the most number deliveries in the match did not help Bangladesh, and pegged them back when they needed acceleration.

Bangladesh finally managed a meager 42 runs from their last 10 overs and got bundled out for 144 which was never enough to prevent victory charge of Saffers.

Bangladesh fought hard to defend the small total, but a well paced run chase guided hosts home in the penultimate over of the match.

After a 65 run opening partnership between skipper Graeme Smith (41 off 34 balls) and JP Duminy (36 off 28 balls), young Albie Morkel, who was promoted up in the batting order, hammered a 29 ball 41 to secure an easy victory for the hosts.

  • Khondaker Mirazur Rahman

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