result
30th Match, Group 1, Abu Dhabi, Nov 2 2021, ICC Men's T20 World Cup
(13.3/20 ov, target 85)86/4
South Africa won by 6 wickets (with 39 balls remaining)
Player Of The Match
3/20
kagiso-rabada

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    South Africa solidify No. 2 position

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    Bangladesh fast bowlers done in the first half

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    South Africa in trouble

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    Career bests, career worsts

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    Rabada finds his mojo in the powerplay

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    Bangladesh's dependence on Mahmudullah

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    Dwaine Pretorius this tournament

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    South Africa unchanged

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    Replacing Shakib

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    Second place race

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Updated 02-Nov-2021 • Published 02-Nov-2021

As it happened - Bangladesh vs South Africa, Men's T20 World Cup, Super 12s

By Varun Shetty

South Africa solidify No. 2 position

South Africa 86 for 4 (Bavuma 31*, Taskin 2-18) beat Bangladesh 84 (Mahedi 27, Nortje 3-8, Rabada 3-20) by six wickets

It was a fast bowling day at Abu Dhabi and that eventually made it a big win for South Africa, who chased 85 with six wickets in hand despite their own top order struggling against Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam in the powerplay. South Africa’s bowlers got first use of the pitch after Temba Bavuma had won the toss, and both Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje finished with career-best figures as they took six wickets between them to help bowl Bangladesh out for 84. The total was small enough that South Africa’s falling to 33 for 3 at the end of their powerplay didn’t become a big enough hurdle for Bangladesh to cause an upset; in the end, Bavuma’s team took the two points and created a two-point gap between themselves and Australia, who are placed third with a game in hand. This result also means the end of Sri Lanka's qualification prospects.

Full report to follow

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Bangladesh fast bowlers done in the first half

Well, this is something to take away for Bangladesh. They've had to play on pitches at home that they have themselves called counter-productive - damp, low, tailored for spin and little else. In general, that has been a contributing factor to Bangladesh's shallow fast bowling reserves over the years, and while that isn't being immediately fixed in the short term, they will at least be encouraged by the performances of Taskin and Shoriful when the conditions offered them support. You can't think of many contexts where Bangladesh would bowl out their fast bowlers so early in an innings. 8-0-33-2 from the two pacers, who gave Bangladesh a tiny sliver of a chance today while defending a modest total.

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South Africa in trouble

Well, well! I suppose a lot of voters on that last poll will be rethinking their choice right now. There has been movement off this pitch and boy have Bangladesh made it hard for South Africa to score. Three down in the powerplay and, surely now, just focusing on getting across the line. Bangladesh have played spoilsports before...

Here is our South Africa correspondent Firdose Moonda who is looking at the larger picture:

"We are beating this drum a lot but South Africa's top-heavy strategy is going to cost them at some point. It may not be in this game, or even at this tournament, but the philosophy of playing five opening batters in the top six is going to backfire. Today, Temba Bavuma dropped himself to No.5, leaving Reeza Hendricks to open with Quinton de Kock, with Rassie van der Dussen at 3 and Aiden Markram at 4. There's only one recognised batter left, David Miller, at No.6. Somehow South Africa need to find more middle order players and make choices about how many top-order batters they want. There simply won't be room for all of them at some stage."
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What would you do?

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Nasum's piece of history

He becomes only the second man to be hit wicket at a T20 World Cup, says browser of the obscure and colleague Sampath Bandarupalli. David Obuya was first, back in 2007.

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Career bests, career worsts

7 Wickets for South Africa's fast bowlers

Well those are career-best figures for Nortje (3 for 8) and Rabada (3 for 20) today to finish off Bangladesh's innings. It isn't quite a career worst like my title suggests, but it is the third time this year that Bangladesh have been rolled out for a sub-100 score. And those scores have come in three different countries, so it is suggestive of a massive system failure rather than odd conditions. A bad World Cup continues to get worse.

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Rabada finds his mojo in the powerplay

4 The number of Rabada powerplay wickets in the UAE before today

Here is Shiva Jayaraman from the stats team on Rabada's peculiar struggle with the new ball in this part of the world:

"Kagiso Rabada wasn’t NOT taking wickets in the UAE - his 39 T20 wickets before today in this country were the third highest for any bowler in the last three years. However, even though he was bowling regularly in the Powerplay in these conditions, he wasn’t providing his team with early strikes. Only four of his 39 wickets before today in the UAE had come in the Powerplay, at an average of 70.5 runs and a strike rate of 57.0. In the 2020 IPL, Rabada managed to take just two wickets from 23 Powerplay overs. In ten innings this year before this match in the UAE, 15 Powerplay overs had fetched him just two wickets.

This is in stark contrast to how effective he is bowling upfront in T20s at home, where he has taken 15 wickets at 23.7. Even in other Asian countries Rabada has done much better with eight wickets at 36.4. After the Powerplay though, Rabada is as effective a strike bowler in these conditions as he is anywhere in the world: his 35 non-Power play wickets in the UAE have come at an average of 16.6 and strike rate of 11.8. Even better than his numbers at home, where his 19 wickets after the Powerplay in the last three years have come at an average of 23.8 and strike rate of 17.5. Rabada was a strike bowler alright, even in these unhelpful conditions, but that Powerplay incisiveness was lacking.  His three wickets in the Powerplay today correct that aberration."

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Bangladesh's lowest total in T20s

70 vs New Zealand, 2016 World Cup
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Bangladesh's dependence on Mahmudullah

Mahmudullah has scored 1,929 runs at 26.79 with a 120.66 strike-rate. He has seldom got the support from the middle-order in the T20 World Cup so far. Liton Das played well against West Indies in the previous game, but he generally averages 16.23 and has a 105.49 strike-rate in the post-powerplay overs.

Well, he has just been dismissed, but here was a thought from Mohammad Isam that came in just before the wicket fell.

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Dwaine Pretorius this tournament

I mentioned in the South Africa squad note that they've had a solid bowling line-up that has been laying the foundation for them. That has largely been possible through Dwaine Pretorius' efforts as the fifth bowler. The big-ticket names for South Africa in this format are Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Tabraiz Shamsi. And Keshav Maharaj has been among their most consistent cricketers across formats since he became a regular. So in those four is a top line-up for these conditions, but they have needed the utility of a good fifth bowler to play a holding role. So far, Pretorius has more than done a job of that. In his last two innings at the World Cup, he has taken 3 for 17 against both Sri Lanka and the West Indies. Potentially one of the World Cup's unheralded heroes if South Africa make it deep.

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Kagiso at it again

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The inside view

Here is our Bangladesh correspondent Mohammad Isam on Bangladesh's opening pair:

There's a lot of talk about Mohammad Naim's inability to bat faster as his innings progresses. His strike-rate is the question. Naim plays roughly 15 dot balls on average in every T20I innings in which he reaches at least 30 runs. He has faced 41 balls on average in the ten innings since his debut in 2019. His opening partner, Liton Das, is slightly better. He plays 9 dot balls on average every time he scores 30-plus in a T20I innings.
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South Africa unchanged

It has been something of a scrap for South Africa so far this tournament, but they've found ways to win, and they've done it twice. They nearly won defending a small total against Australia as well. Which is a testament to a solid bowling line-up at the moment that is more than pulling its weight. No changes for them.

South Africa: 1 Reeza Hendricks, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 Temba Bavuma (capt), 5 Aiden Markram, 6 David Miller, 7 Dwaine Pretorius, 8 Kagiso Rabada, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi

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Replacing Shakib

First-ever men's T20 world cup game for Bangladesh without Shakib Al Hasan. This is also the first time he is missing a game in ICC limited-overs events since his debut in 2006.

Nasum Ahmed is the man who will fill in the slow left-arm slot in Shakib's absence. I mean, could you imagine a Bangladesh squad without a left-arm spinner? They had to replace him and one of the players missing out as a result is Mustafizur Rahman. Not certain yet whether he's carrying a niggle or not, but I suppose at this point Bangladesh do have the room to experiment anyway.

Bangladesh: 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Liton Das (wk), 3 Shamim Hossain, 4 Soumya Sarkar, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim, 6 Mahmudullah (capt), 7 Afif Hossain, 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Nasum Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Taskin Ahmed

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Second place race

Welcome! We're under two weeks away from the World Cup final now and at this point, only one thing can be said with certainty - England and Pakistan are bossing their respective groups and are unbeaten, which has effectively put them in the semi-final (all the math aside). The two groups are now about a mad rush for second place, and playing today is a team that has done well to stay in the hunt, particularly with their win last match. South Africa have shown they're better than the pre-match ratings might have had them, and they have the chance now to come within two points of England in first, while putting a two-point distance between themselves and Australia. They're playing against a Bangladesh team that's never beaten them in this format, and who have had a particularly difficult Super 12s stage so far. They sit at the bottom of the table with no wins. And no Shakib, either, today. Nothing to lose on one side, everything to gain on the other.

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