Bangladesh pulls off another stunner

Mohammad Ashraful anchored Bangladesh to a respectable total.-AP

After the middle-order batsman Mohammad Ashraful lit up the Providence Stadium with a majestic 87, the Bangladesh bowlers strangled the powerful South African batting to etch one of the most memorable moments in their nation's cricketing history.

Bangladesh recorded one of the biggest upsets in the history of the World Cup when it beat the world's top ranked one-day team, South Africa, by 67 runs at Guyana's Providence Stadium. It was the team's second upset victory in the tournament, following a surprise win against India in the group stage.

Bangladesh made 251 for eight, thanks mainly to its experienced middle-order batsman, Mohammad Ashraful, who made a wonderful 87 from 83 balls. Then the team's left-arm bowlers, both spin and swing, put relentless pressure on the South African batsmen, dismissing them for 184 with eight balls remaining, for one of the most memorable moments in its cricketing history.

Left-arm seamer Syed Rasel removed South Africa's two in-form batsmen, skipper Graeme Smith (12) and Jacques Kallis (32), as the Proteas struggled to 63 for two in the 16th over. And then Bangladesh's trio of spinners took over, strangling the powerful South African batting.

Smith, who scored four half-centuries in the tournament, lost his off stump as he attempted to guide Rasel to third man, leaving South Africa 18 for one in the sixth over.

Kallis and A. B. De Villiers shared a second-wicket stand of 45 before Kallis, who faced 36 balls and struck five fours, attempted to lift Rasel over long on and gave a simple catch to Tamim Iqbal.

One run later, the spinners took centre stage. De Villiers (15) was bowled by Razzak and South Africa plunged into further trouble when Ashwell Prince, attempting a quick single to wide mid-on, was run out for one, with the total on 67. Saqibul Hasan then had Mark Boucher caught at wide long off and took a return catch off his next ball to dismiss Justin Kemp (seven) as South Africa limped to 87 for six.

Herschelle Gibbs (56 not out), who was off the field for most of the day with a strained calf, and veteran Shaun Pollock (17) added 45 runs for the seventh wicket, but just as they appeared to be bringing South Africa back into the game, Pollock was run out with the score on 132.

Andre Nel (one) fell caught and bowled by Mohammad Rafique five runs later, before Charl Langeveldt (nine) was trapped lbw by Abdur Razzak. The game ended when Mortaza made good ground at midwicket to hold on to Makhaya Ntini's chipped shot.

Gibbs, who used Prince as a runner, faced 59 balls and struck one four and two sixes in his innings.

Razzak finished with three for 25, while Rasel and Saqibul picked up two wickets each.

Earlier, Man of the Match Ashraful combined well with Aftab Ahmed (35) and Mashrafe Mortaza (25) to help Bangladesh put up a testing score. Ashraful and Ahmed came together with Bangladesh 84 for 4 in the 24th over, after Nel had threatened to undermine the top order with a hostile six-over spell that brought him three for 22. Nel later completed his 10 overs with two more wickets to end with five for 45 — his best ODI figures.

THE SCORES

Super Eight: Bangladesh v South Africa. Bangladesh won by 67 runs.

Bangladesh: J. Omar c Smith b Nel 17; T. Iqbal c Boucher b Nel 38; H. Bashar c & b Nel 5; S. Hasan c Smith b Kallis 9; M. Ashraful c Langeveldt b Nel 87; Aftab c Nel b Ntini 35; M. Rahim (run out) 6; M. Mortaza b Nel 25; M. Rafique (not out) 3; A. Razzak (not out) 2; Extras (lb-7, w-12, nb-5) 24. Total (for eight wkts., in 50 overs) 251.

Fall of wkts: 1-42, 2-59, 3-69, 4-84, 5-160, 6-179, 7-233, 8-248.

South Africa bowling: Pollock 10-1-25-0; Ntini 10-1-61-1; Nel 10-1-45-5; Langeveldt 10-0-57-0; Kallis 6-0-27-1; Smith 3-0-16-0; Kemp 1-0-13-0.

South Africa: G. Smith b Rasel 12; A. De Villiers b Razzak 15; J. Kallis c Iqbal b Rasel 32; J. Kemp c & b Hasan 7; A. Prince (run out) 1; M. Boucher c Rasel b Hasan 12; H. Gibbs (not out) 56; S. Pollock (run out) 17; A. Nel c & b Rafique 1; C. Langeveldt lbw b Razzak 9; M. Ntini c Mortaza b Razzak 8; Extras (lb-2, w-12) 14. Total (in 48.4 overs) 184.

Fall of wkts: 1-18, 2-63, 3-64, 4-67, 5-87, 6-87, 7-132, 8-137, 9-162.

Bangladesh bowling: Mortaza 9-0-45-0; Rasel 10-0-41-2; Razzak 9.4-1-25-3; Rafique 10-2-22-1; Hasan 10-0-49-2.

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