Cue pandemonium at The Oval. The first big upset of this World Cup, but Bangladesh never looked like underdogs all day long. They were more composed in both disciplines, and right from a solid 60-run opening stand this morning they were never headed.
Both openers fell by the time the board hit 75, but Shakib and Mushfiqur added a partnership of 142 right through the middle of the innings. South Africa looked short of ideas in how to combat them, and were hampered by the injury to Ngidi that kept him to four overs for the day.
Once those two fell, Bangladesh could still have been held to 280 or so, but Mahmudullah smacked 46 from 33, supported by Mithun and Mossadek, so 330 was a steep target. And to be honest, South Africa never genuinely looked like they would get there. It was just too hard to time many attacking shots on this pitch.
Faf du Plessis will think a lot about the toss, and his decision to send Bangladesh in. He was hoping the track would be faster and he could blast them out. Instead it was slow, and he gave their spinners the chance to apply the brakes. Having struggled in a chase at the same venue against England a couple of days ago, you might have thought South Africa would prefer to avoid doing the same.
Phehlukwayo did his job with the ball, as did Tahir. Two wickets apiece, and the same for Morris, though he was expensive. Rabada and Ngidi didn’t take a wicket between them. Mustafizur for Bangladesh picked up three, Saifuddin came back from a tough start for two wickets, and Shakib and Mehidy were vital with their spin.
Shakib is being interviewed. “This is my fourth World Cup. We have done some upsets before. Before we arrived in this country we had belief. I know the dressing room is happy, but we know our job has only started.”
Faf du Plessis: “Obviously today didn’t go according to plan. If you’re playing against a subcontinent team, if they get runs on the board then they can squeeze you, and that’s what happened today. I looked up at the screen and after 45 overs we were at the same mark. So that shows how damaging the last five overs was.”
Mashrafe: “At the toss we doubted ourselves, should I bowl or should I bat. But we thought the wicket is used, and maybe we should bat first. We know we had to bowl right areas and keep changing our bowlers and maybe we would get the wicket. The crowd was behind us, thanks to all the Bangladeshi crowd. Back home those are watching on the TV are also expecting us to win. Hopefully it goes well, inshallah.”