ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Bangladesh v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur

Shoddy display, sarcastic applause

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the day from Bangladesh's must-win match against South Africa

Firdose Moonda in Mirpur

March 19, 2011

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A Bangladesh fan cheers his team on, Bangladesh v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur, March 19, 2011
The fans started to make their way out as soon as the Bangladesh top order folded © Associated Press
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The perfect placement
Jacques Kallis had played his way cautiously to 30, rotating the strike with Hashim Amla and managing two boundaries. Then, he rolled out a vintage stroke. Shafiul Islam bowled a regular, on-a-good-length ball and Kallis just presented his bat. He made contact that had better timing than all the clocks in the world. The ball snuck in between Faf du Plessis' legs, evaded a diving Tamim Iqbal, escaped the exasperated Mahmadullah at mid-on too and eased it way to the boundary. Effortless.

The mind-the-gap moment
Bangladesh cost themselves in the field with some sloppy work but this was the most careless. Abdur Razzak was at point when Kallis cut the ball to him, off the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan. Razzak kneeled down and should have picked it up immediately, giving away no runs in the process, but he somehow allowed the ball into the gap between his left knee and right leg. As it was teasing him, his hands couldn't get around the ball in time and it rolled away for four.

The un-noticed 50
Jacques Kallis was playing a low-key innings but he must have expected someone to clap when he reached his half-century. It wasn't brought up in a flashy fashion - a small flick to fine leg, an ambled single. But nobody seemed to notice. As Kallis stood, bat in the air, acknowledging the crowd, there was minimal sounds beyond the constant burble. A section of the crowd must have realised what was going on and offered small applause but most didn't seem too aware that South Africa's greatest all-rounder had reached another milestone.

The catch that stuck
After a solid display of butter fingers, Shakib Al Hasan finally gave Bangladesh their moment in the field. Jacques Kallis wanted to use the batting Powerplay to capitalise and decided to start from the get-go. He rocked on the back foot and smacked the third ball of the over back to Shakib. It wasn't a clean catch at first, as the captain juggled it on the first attempt but held on it on the second.

The tragedy

It was only the 8th over of the Bangladesh chase but at 21 for 4, the dream was crashing fast. Lonwabo Tsotsobe had exposed too many weaknesses and what lay before the fans, a raw batting line-up, was too painful for them to see. Rows of seats became empty and dozens of people were making their way to the exit. The dream was dying and they weren't hanging around to see it splutter and struggle its way to the inevitable end.

The giant catch

Graeme Smith and agile are not two concepts that marry easily, but he showed his nimble side while fielding at slip. Robin Peterson had tempted Mushfiqur Rahim to go onto his front foot and drive and the push from the Bangladeshi batsman resulted in nothing more than an edge. It flew to the right of Smith at first slip and was dipping fast but Smith lunged with his full reach and took the catch.

The lowest is over

When Shakib Al Hasan gently took a single off Johan Botha on the leg side, in the 21st over, the crowd began to cheer louder than had for the entire Bangladesh innings. Not because they were applauding their captain supreme who had to be a one-man team for much of the match, with the bat and ball, but because the worst they'd seen of this World Cup would not come back to haunt them. That single was the 58th, the same amount that Bangladesh had been bowled out for against the West Indies and they still had five wickets in hand. Even though Mahmadullah was run out on that score, the same ignominy was avoided, but not by much.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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