South Africa Too Strong For Bangladesh
South Africa survived a late rally from Bangladesh to win the final group game of the ICC World Twenty20 by seven wickets in Cape Town.
Bangladesh went on the attack right from the word go, with Tamim Iqbal crashing the first ball of the match for four before Aftab Ahmed (36 from 14 balls) and Mohammad Ashraful (10 from 3) helped Bangladesh race past 50 in just 23 balls.
South Africa kept their heads, and clever bowling from man of the match Morne Morkel (2 for 21), Vernon Philander (2 for 23) and Johannes Van Der Wath (1 for 13) ensured that the early run rate was not sustainable and Bangladesh were bowled out for 144 in 19.3 overs.
South African openers Graeme Smith (41) and Jean-Paul Duminy (36), replacing the injured Herschelle Gibbs, were happy to score at a relatively more sedate pace of around seven an over, exactly what was required.
The game changed when Ashraful turned to his spinners; Shakib Al-Hasan took 1 for 28 and Abdur Razzak 2 for 26 to put the home side on the back foot.
The game was eventually sealed by a six from Justin Kemp, although the biggest of the day belonged to Albie Morkel, who scored a breezy 41 from number three.
Bangladesh never stopped fighting, and with another 20 runs to play with would have run the Proteas close. Both sides have qualified for the Super Eight stage - South Africa take on England tomorrow, while for Bangladesh, world champions Australia await.
© Cricket World 2007