South Africa beat Bangladesh in their ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 Super 12 fixture to consolidate their place in the top two from Group 1.
Kagiso Rabada led a South African exhibition of quality pace bowling to bowl Bangladesh out for 84 and set up a six-wicket win at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Although their chase was hit by the loss of three early wickets, a 47-run partnership for the fourth wicket took them over the line in 13.3 overs, thus giving their net run rate a boost as well.
The win, though, was set up by the pace bowlers earlier, who made the most of conditions that aided pace and bounce.
Rabada took three wickets across five balls in the Powerplay, while Tabraiz Shamsi took 2/21 and Anrich Nortje wrapped the innings up for 3/8.
Rabada on fire
Going into this game, there was some pressure on Rabada, who had picked up just two wickets till then and had gone for 32 runs against Sri Lanka. But he quickly put any concerns to rest with a fiery display with the new ball in the first innings.
With a covering of dry grass on the surface and some help expected for the pacers, skipper Temba Bavuma had chosen to bowl. And while he then opened with the left-arm spin of Keshav Maharaj, it was Rabada who got the breakthroughs in his second over.
Mohammad Naim spooned a catch to midwicket, before Soumya Sarkar followed him back the very next ball, trapped in front by a beauty. Rabada bowled full, almost at a yorker length, and got it to move late into the left-hander. Sarkar was hit on the boot, and the wicket was given on review.
Returning for his next over, Rabada might have had a hat-trick, but the ball fell a few yards in front of the fielder at point.
But he needed just two more balls to pick up his third: Mushfiqur Rahim was surprised by the bounce and Reeza Hendricks at gully held on for a good catch.
Bangladesh undone by bounce
At 28/3 in the Powerplay, Bangladesh had endured another disappointing period of batting under the fielding restrictions. And it got no easier. The in-form South African bowlers found good pace and bounce, as well as some movement, and were rewarded for it.
Nortje got Mahmudullah with a short one that rose on him, forcing the batter to fend and glove a catch.
Then, Afif Hossain, looking to swing hard on his first ball, missed and the ball from Dwaine Pretorius thudded off his pad onto the wicket.
Liton, Mahedi resist
Even as wickets tumbled around him, opener Liton Das, who had got going with a four through covers off Rabada, held firm. But Shamsi needed just three deliveries to trap him lbw.
Mahedi Hasan offered Bangladesh fans some entertainment with an aggressive 27 off 25 balls. His three boundaries included a six over cover off Shamsi.
But after him, the innings folded quickly. A hit wicket dismissal to end the batting effort reflected their poor fortune on the day.
Taskin makes merry
Given a low total to chase, South Africa were rocked early by Taskin Ahmed, who enjoyed the conditions as much as the opposition bowlers and got good movement with the new ball.
Taskin came back from being hit for four to trap Reeza Hendricks lbw with one that moved back in.
Quinton de Kock then attacked the spin of Mahedi Hasan for two boundaries, before the bowler came back with a slower, straighter one to bowl him.
Taskin bowled a good line and length to draw an edge from Aiden Markram, which was pouched by the slip fielder to send him back before scoring.
The pacer was bowled out by the eighth over, for an excellent 2/18.
Bavuma knocks Bangladesh out
At 33/3 in the Powerplay, South Africa were under more pressure than they would have anticipated, but with boundaries coming with relative frequency, the asking rate was never an issue.
It took the calm heads of Bavuma (31* off 28) and Rassie van der Dussen to knock off the remaining runs. Van der Dussen fell trying to wrap up the innings early for a net run-rate boost, before David Miller hit the winning boundary.
With this loss, Bangladesh, who still have no points, are mathematically ruled out of progressing to the next round. South Africa play England in their last Super 12 game to confirm their place in the semi-final.
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