South Africa beat Bangladesh in record-breaking New York nailbiter

South Africa’s bowlers denied Bangladesh to win by four runs in another low-scoring thriller in New York.

No team had ever successfully defended a total as low as 113/6 in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup history, but South Africa’s attack pulled off a Manhattan miracle to all-but seal their qualification for the Super 8 stage.

South Africa booked their spot in the second round from Group D with a tense win over Bangladesh.

After Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller had rescued the Proteas with a 79-run stand, Pacers Kagiso Rabada (2/19) and Anrich Nortje (2/17) played crucial roles in limiting the Bangladesh batting line-up.

Towhid Hridoy almost played a winning hand with his sparkling 37 (34), but it all came down to a dramatic final over by Keshav Maharaj. After dismissing Jaker Ali (8 from 9), Maharaj was inches away from conceding the final runs, with Maumudullah caught on the fence for 20 (27) with Bangladesh needing six to win from the final two balls.

And new batter Taskin Ahmed wasn’t able to find the maximum off the closing ball of the innings as South Africa made it three wins from three to top Group D.

Watch Keshav Maharaj's dramatic final over as South Africa beat Bangladesh/

The Bangladesh top order scrapped through a testing opening period in their chase, reaching the end of the Powerplay on 29/1, with opener Tanzid Hasan (9 from 9) the only batter dismissed – caught behind off Kagiso Rabada.

But South Africa’s leading bowlers hit back through the middle overs to set up a nailbiter.

Keshav Maharaj struck with his very first ball to get Litton Das for 9 from 13, and Anrich Nortje did damage to remove Najmul Hossain Shanto (14 from 23) and Shakib Al Hasan (3 from 4).

A superb knock of 37 from 34 balls by Towhid Hridoy gave the Tigers a terrific chance, only for the match to take another swing in momentum when he was trapped lbw by Rabada to leave Bangladesh five down with 20 runs still required at exactly a run a ball.

The game went down to the final over, bowled by the spinner Maharaj, who picked up two wickets and got away with a pair of full tosses from the two final balls of the innings as South Africa somehow escaped with a four-run margin of victory.

Watch the tense final ball of New York's latest thriller.

How the Proteas recovered to reach winning score

Earlier, South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first against Bangladesh at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York.

And an excellent partnership between Heinrich Klaasen (46 from 44) and David Miller (29 from 38) helped the Proteas recover to 113/6 after losing four early wickets.

It was the Tigers who enjoyed the better of the opening stages, even after Quinton de Kock banged ten runs from the first three balls of the innings.

Tanzim Hazan Sakib did much of the damage in the Powerplay, removing Reeza Hendricks (0 from 1), De Kock (18 from 11) and Tristan Stubbs (0 from 5), with Taskin Ahmed also getting in on the act to clean up captain Aiden Markram (4 from 8).

And that flurry of early wickets left South Africa on 25/4 at the end of the opening six overs, but with Klassen and Miller still out in the middle and eyeing another rescue job.

The pair put on a solid recovery partnership worth 79 at a run-a-ball, lifting South Africa up to triple figures.

Both set batters fell in the death overs as they looked to accelerate, but 113/6 could well prove tricky on a surface that offered plenty for the bowlers.

Tanzim Hasan Sakib finished with the pick of the figures with 3/18 from four overs, with Taskin (2/19) and Rishad Hossain (1/32) the other bowlers to pick up wickets.

A hard-fought 46 from Heinrich Klaasen proved crucial to South Africa's nail-biting win over Bangladesh.

South Africa have now won three from three, but are not quite guaranteed a spot in the Super 8 stage.

It is quite possible that other results will have confirmed the Proteas’ progress prior to their final Group D fixture, but a win over Nepal on Saturday in St Vincent would certainly confirm qualification and top spot with a perfect record in the opening phase.

Bangladesh will now turn their attention to their final two matches against Netherlands and Nepal. Victory in both of those will seal a top two spot, but even just a win against the Dutch next time out on Thursday could be sufficient.

Watch extended highlights of the Bangladesh versus South Africa thriller in New York.

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