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Bangladesh v South Africa
Guyana, 7 April 2007

Test Match Special podcast | Blog

World Cup Super 8, Guyana: Bangladesh 251-8 v South Africa 184

By Jonathan Stevenson

Bangladesh celebrate their stunning win over South Africa
Bangladesh celebrate beating the world number one ODI team

Bangladesh caused a sensational World Cup upset by beating South Africa in an extraordinary Super 8 match in Guyana.

The Tigers amassed a brilliant 251-8, their highest ever World Cup score, with Mohammad Ashraful hitting a truly magnificent 87 from 83 balls.

In reply, South Africa were shot out for 184, with Syed Rasel, Saqibal Hasan and Abdur Razzak among the wickets.

The result improves England's hopes of qualifying for the last four ahead of their game against Australia on Sunday.

South Africa won the toss, but erred in electing to bowl first.

The wicket got slower and slower, playing into the hands of Bangladesh's three spinners, and South Africa struggled to get anywhere near the five runs an over they required.

Bangladesh ended up with an excellent score, especially as they too were wobbling at one stage.

A solid start was undone by the recalled Andre Nel, who took three wickets in a fiery first spell.

Test Match Special blog
BBC Sport's Martin Gough

Then Jacques Kallis had Saqibal Hasan caught in the gully by Graeme Smith, and Bangladesh were in tatters at 82-4.

But when Ashraful and Aftab Ahmed came together, the duo put on 76 intelligent runs and ramped up the rate in the process.

Aftab was in disbelief when, moments after he had hit two monstrous sixes off Justin Kemp, he holed out in the deep off Makhaya Ntini.

But Ashraful continued on his merry way and played his favourite standing sweep over short fine leg, a shot which earned him several crucial boundaries.

There were also some cleanly struck, beautifully timed lofted drives that were so reminiscent of his century against Australia in another memorable win for Bangladesh in Cardiff in 2005.

Mashrafe Mortaza joined Ashraful for the final onslaught, himself smashing 25 off 16 balls as the Tigers accelerated in a frenzied last seven overs.

Mohammad Ashraful
Ashraful played a masterful innings for Bangladesh in Guyana

Ashraful was eventually caught in the deep by Charl Langeveldt off Nel to hand the bowler his first ever five-wicket haul (5-45) in ODIs.

But early on in the South Africa reply, Nel's efforts did not quite seem enough as the Tigers produced a world-class display in the field.

Their bowling was tight and clever and their fielding was electric - with wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim providing a constant running commentary of events.

If they were looking at Mortaza to provide a spark, they got it from his opening partner Rasel.

Changing his pace and bowling occasional off-cutters, he accounted for Smith (12) and Kallis (32), who played an untypically quick-fire innings before clumsily holing out to mid-on.

It did not get much better for AB de Villiers (15), the opener remarkably missing a straight one from Razzak and seeing his middle stump gently knocked back.

With the scoring rate slowing down almost to a standstill, the last thing South Africa needed was to lose their quickest runner between the wickets.

So when Ashwell Prince ran himself out, they knew they were in trouble.

Trouble which was confirmed when Saqibal took two wickets in successive balls straight after being hit for a massive six by Mark Boucher.

Boucher (12) ludicrously lifted Saqibal to Rasel at long-off and the very next ball Saqibal took a brilliant diving catch to get rid of Justin Kemp (7).

As the required rate escalated, South Africa gave up the ghost depressingly early, with neither Herschelle Gibbs (56) nor Charl Langeveldt (9 from 32 balls) showing much interest in going for the win.

In the end, the world's number one ODI side got exactly what they deserved.

To complete their misery, South Africa were fined for their slow over-rate during the match.

Match referee Chris Broad ruled that they were one over short of their target so the players were fined five per cent of their match fee with captain Graeme Smith fined 10 per cent of his fee.

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