Shamik Das


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ash turns Boks to dust

The Bangladesh players rejoice in their incredible win over South Africa

Guyana, World Cup, Super Eights: South Africa 184 (48.3 overs) lost to Bangladesh 251/8 (50 overs) by 67 runs

Mohammad Ashraful scored 87 priceless runs as Bangladesh produced one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history to batter the world number one's tonight.

It was only Bangladesh's sixth ever win over elite opposition - all the more remarkable considering their previous two outings culminated in soul destroying nine and ten wicket defeats to New Zealand and Australia respectively - and their second upset of the competition having knocked India out at the group stage.

Skipper Habibul Bashar was delighted with the way his team bounced back from their Antipodean maulings: "We didn't start the Super 8 well, we played poorly against Australia and New Zealand, but we're feeling very good after that display.

A list of Bangladesh's wins over the big eight of Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa and West Indies

"Any international win is a massive win for Bangladesh, but we're still in contention so it was a must-win game. We just needed to put some runs on the board and if we can do that, we know that the bowlers have the capacity to do the job.

"I must thank all the Guyana supporters, too. They helped us all the way and it was just like being at home out there."

Having allowed the 150-1 pre-tournament outsiders to rack up over 250 runs the Proteas found themselves 87 for six before being bundled out for 184, only Herschelle Gibbs (56*) and Jacques Kallis (32) offering any resistance.

What done for the South Africans was the bowling of Bangladesh's left arm spinners, with Saqibul Hasan (2-49), Syed Rasel (2-41) and Abdur Razzaq (3-25) restricting the runs and then taking the wickets.

It was the drying up of runs that also yielded two run-outs, as South Africa's big hitters in the middle order were stifled. Mark Boucher (12 off 26 balls), Justin Kemp (7 off 28) and Ashwell Prince (1 off 7) all way below their usual strike-rates.

Mohammad Ashraful plays an unorthodox sweep during his 83 ball innings of 87    Saqibul Hasan gets in a tangle with Ashwell Prince - on as a runner for Herschelle Gibbs - after catching Shaun Pollock for 17

Ahsraful, however, had no such problems, picking off ten fours in his man-of-the-match performance - two more than the entire South Africa XI - several boundaries coming in outrageous fashion, paddled down to the fine leg boundary in a style more accustomed to French cricket than the cricket World Cup.

Tamim Iqbal (38), Aftab Ahmed (35) and Mashrafe Mortaza (25 off 16 balls) also contributed to the Tigers' mauling of South Africa, with Andre Nel (5-45) alone in fighting back with the ball.

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