The first Sunday of the ICC Cricket World Cup proved to be an exciting set of the clash after comparative dominating and one-sided results in the competition.
Bangladesh, led by experienced Mashrafe Mortaza had not only the heavy task of battling it out against the heavyweights, South African side but also to change the fortunes of the Asian sub-continent teams in the competitions.
With 3 of their neighbouring countries- Pakistan, Srilanka & Afghanistan facing a humiliating defeat against their respective opponents, where all three nations were not able to complete their batting quota of 50 overs. The 5th match of the tournament, once again diverted towards the capital, where the hosts and tournament favourites defeated the Africans. Looking at loads of runs scored on the Lord’s pitch & also the assistance to the fast bowlers to a large extent, the crowd and the conditions were waiting for the first high-scorer thriller of the competition.
Both the teams stood true to the expectations as the day’s total was seen crossed over 600 runs for the first time where 100-over quota was completed. As the coined flipped as per Faf du Plessis calls, the Proteas captain had little doubts over putting the opposition to bat first considering the conditions and pitch to play a major supporting role to its fast bowlers as it assisted the hosts in the opening encounter of the tournament. The English pace trio of Archer-Plunkett-Stokes had shared 7 wickets between them to keep the Proteas short-off the target by a margin of 104-runs. With the shoulder injury to their star bowler- Dale Steyn didn’t declare the paceman fit enough to feature in the playing XI, Phehlukwayo, Rabada & Ngidi formed the crux of their bowling unit once again. Bangladesh, on the other hand, had some sigh of relief as the injury issues revolving over Tamim Iqbal, Mashrafe Mortaza & Mohammad Saifuddin before the match turned out to be a major concern.
However, the confirmation of team during the toss by Mortaza turned out to be cheerful for the Bangladeshi fans in the stadium and at the country backyard supporting and praying for their team’s goodwill.
Fighting against all experts’ mindset, with a positive approach- Tamim Iqbal & Soumya Sarkar begin the proceedings for Bangladesh. The duo added 60 runs inside 9 overs before the former, who didn’t seem to be comfortable with the new ball fall prey to Phehlukwayo delivery caught behind by de Kock.
Though the scoring rate, above 6 not being a major concern, it was important to indulge in partnership to complete their quota of 50 overs and thereby put forth an above par target against the Africans. “With lack of spinning wickets in England to hamper their chances”, according to Mortaza on the eve of their match not being the only issue, a solid middle-order and lower-order batting performance were also being considered a major roadblock for the Tigers in the competition. Mushfiqur Rahim & Shakib Al Hasan, two of the most experienced players in the squad continued the proceedings for the team. Both the players took over the show after Sarkar was shown the way off to pavilion by Morris.
The pair completed their respective half-centuries and added 142-run for the 3rd wicket. Imran Tahir, appearing in his 100th ODI appearance provided the necessary-breakthrough for his team in the 36th over in form of Shakib. The part-timers Markram & JP filling in the absence of Ngidi-Steyn hardly caused any dent to the Bangladeshi innings.
The second spell of Phehlukwayo braced up as the opposition were successful in applying brakes to the long innings of Rahim whose show finally came to an end. However, a powerful stroke-play combination by Mahudallah-Mosaddek helped Bangladesh finish on 330-6 (50).
It was a mammoth task ahead of the Proteas to register the most successful chase in the World Cup history. Standing the ability to play a massive knock after keeping the stumps, De Kock failed to impress as his tenure on the field ended owing to a horrendous miscommunication with Markram. Faf, appearing to be a major threat to pull away from the game from the opposition contributed the maximum chunk of runs to lessen the distance from the target. However, the spin trap seemed to swallow the Proteas batsmen.
The middle-order comprising likes of JP, Miller & Rassie van der Dussen added 124 runs to the scoreboard. Saifuddin castled off the last hopes with the priceless wicket of Rassie. Tigers headed into the final 4 overs smelling the victory. Although with the odds being slightly deviated towards the Africans with JP out in the middle- he couldn’t do much with wickets falling off at the other end. Fighting till the 48th over, the left-hander got 45 runs to his tally before being dismissed by Mustafizur, a mere-formality of delivering the remaining balls was soon completed and Tigers roared over the capital city.
SA will face India on 5th June, while Bangladesh will be waiting for the Kiwis in the capital itself for their encounter on the same day.
Here is how Twitter applauded the first 600+ runs encounter of the competition:
Simply outplayed in all aspects…captain did say it’s not how you start though🤷♂️
— Herschelle Gibbs (@hershybru) June 2, 2019
Fantastic win from Bangladesh, all round batting performance and the bowlers did well in not allowing SA to score freely.
South Africa have a lot to ponder over, Bowling really a struggle for them.#SAvBAN
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) June 2, 2019
That’s a clinical all-round performance from Bangladesh. Rahim, Shakib, Mahmudullah shone with the bat; Mustafizur & co. successfully defended a big total on a belter. Won’t call it an upset. Proteas looking down in the dumps; Tigers will combat valiantly for semi-finals #BANvSA
— Navneet Mundhra (@navneet_mundhra) June 2, 2019