Belligerent Bangladesh add to South Africa’s agony

Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim hits a shot over South Africa’s Quinton de Kock, right, on Sunday. (AP)
Updated 02 June 2019

Belligerent Bangladesh add to South Africa’s agony

  • The second straight defeat leaves Proteas with little margin for error in the rest of the group stage

LONDON: Bangladesh made the perfect start to their World Cup campaign as their highest One-Day International score inspired a 21-run win over a beleaguered South Africa on Sunday.

Mashrafe Mortaza's side posted 330 for six as Mushfiqur Rahim (78) and Shakib Al Hasan (75) laid the foundations of their impressive display at the Oval.

Mahmudullah's boisterous 46 not out from 33 balls pushed Bangladesh past their previous highest ODI total of 329 for six against Pakistan in 2015.

Attempting to become the first team to successfully chase more than 330 to win a World Cup match, South Africa's bid to rewrite the record books fell short at 309 for eight.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis scored 62 from 53 balls, but Bangladesh seamer Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets and economical spinners Shakib and Mehidy Hasan wrapped up a memorable victory.

After reaching the World Cup quarterfinals in 2015, Bangladesh once again look capable of shaking up cricket's established order, much to the delight of their army of vociferous supporters who packed the Oval.

"It will be one of our top wins," said Shakib at the presentation ceremony.

"We have done some upsets at World Cups but we want to prove something at this tournament."

In contrast, South Africa are in turmoil after du Plessis' decision to bowl first backfired despite two wickets from veteran spinner Imran Tahir in his 100th ODI appearance.

With the World Cup just four days old, they have already lost twice in south London — this disappointing performance coming hot on the heels of their 104-run thrashing by hosts England in the tournament opener.

South Africa, who have never won the World Cup, are left with little margin for error in the rest of the 10-team group stage, which sees each country play nine matches.

It will not get any easier for Du Plessis' troubled side in their next match when they face title contenders India on Wednesday.

Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram needed to get South Africa's chase off to a fast start and they reached 49 before a disastrous blunder sent them spiralling towards defeat.

De Kock was run out for 23 after being rashly called for a single by Markram, whose partner's edge was fumbled by Mushfiqur before the wicket-keeper recovered to throw out the opener.

That brought du Plessis to the crease and together with Markram he put on 53 in 60 balls.

But Shakib curtailed that partnership when his perfectly-flighted delivery bowled Markham for 45 to leave South Africa 102 for two in the 20th over.

That made Shakib just the fifth player to score 5,000 runs and take 250 wickets in ODIs.

Du Plessis got to 50 off 45 balls, reaching the milestone with a six off Mosaddek Hossain.

But that blast got du Plessis' adrenaline flowing too fast and a charge at Mehidy saw him bowled after he misjudged the flight.

David Miller's lofted shot was dropped by Soumya Sarkar at mid-off and he escaped again when Mahmudullah could not  grab his mistimed drive.

However, Miller's luck ran out when he was caught by Mehidy off Mustafizur for 38 to leave the Proteas in disarray.


Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

Updated 25 February 2020

Coronavirus forces fan ban at Italian football games

  • The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected
  • Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe

ROME: Upcoming matches in Italian Serie A and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors to combat the spread of coronavirus, the Italian sports minister announced on Monday evening.
“Following the demands of the sports world and knowing that the ban on sporting events open to the public remains in force in six regions of northern Italy, we have agreed to the holding of matches behind closed doors,” said Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
The Europa League game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets on Thursday will be affected, but the minister did not specify which Serie A matches at the weekend would be included in the ban.
There are six games in the regions he mentioned, including the clash on Sunday evening between leader Juventus and third-place Inter.
Italy reported its fifth death from the virus on Monday and it has the most confirmed cases in Europe.
Napoli’s Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday is not at risk.
The alternative to banning fans is to postpone games and Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian Football League made clear earlier in the day that he was opposed to thats.
“We have made an official request to Health Minister Roberto Speranza to have this game played behind closed doors,” Gravina told the press. “We expect a quick response, but we have been told that the outcome will be positive.”