Series: ODI World Cup
Venue: University Oval, Dunedin
Result: South Africa by 32 runs
South Africa Sneak Home Against Plucky Bangladesh
Bangladesh nearly spun themselves to victory over the highly ranked South Africans but the Protea’s pace attack delivered just at the right time through Ayabonga Khaka and Masabata Klaas.
In Dunedin for the second match of the World Cup, a little cooler in the southern city and the cricketing world saddened by the sudden death of Australia’s spin king Shane Warne. Perhaps doffing their cap to the legend, the Bangladesh spin attack nearly caused an upset.
Nigar Sultana won the toss for Bangladesh and sent the South Africans in to bat. With Liselle Lee still waiting in quarantine it was Tazmin Brits who joined regular opener Laura Wolvaardt at the top of the order.
The experienced Jahanara Alam took the new ball for the Tigresses and Wolvaardt found bat on ball immediately with a push through the cover field for two. She came into this World Cup with good form and with Lees missing would need to continue in that vein, which she did the very next ball when she repeated the shot but this time all the way to the boundary.
At the other end it was a different story. The left-arm medium pace of Fariha Trisna was causing Brits some difficulty. The loopy swing back into the right hander at a slower pace quite a handful and Brits survived a shout for LBW. She looked out of sorts and took 19 deliveries to get off the mark, a swipe to cow corner, but her innings didn’t last much longer, a soft dismissal caught by Rumana Ahmed from the bowling of Trisna for 8.
Lara Goodall came to the crease and went on from where Brits left off, struggling to get the ball away. There was a little stickiness in the pitch but at the other end Wolvaardt seemingly oblivious, going at a run a ball.
It was a slow crawl to drinks, South Africa going at just 3.71 runs per over. Salma Khatun had continued the slow strangle along with Ritu Moni and in the 20th over, the latter took the prize wicket of Wolvaardt for 41. To drive home the matter further, Salma ended Goodall’s stay when Rumana took her second catch.
This pattern continued throughout the innings, the South Africans finding the Bangladeshi bowlers tough to dominate on this Dunedin pitch. Marizanne Kapp played a very cautious knock to finish as top scorer with 42 with the innings ending on 207 when stand-in keeper Shamima Sultana stumped Ayabonga Khaka in the 50th over.
Fariha Trisna finished with 3-35 in what was only her second ODI. Jahanara Alam has probably not bowled better than her 2-28. All the bowlers made excellent use of the conditions and the only real blemish a dropped catch and the injury to wicket keeper Nigar Sultana.
Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp opened up the bowling for South Africa and immediately 207 seemed a long way off with the opening batters Sharmin Akhter and Shamima Sultana finding it difficult to score against one of the best pace attacks in the world. Gradually they began to find their feet and after six overs the score was 21/0, comparable with South Africa.
Ayabonga Khaka was introduced to the attack. She bowled a maiden. One run off her second over, then another maiden. Of all South Africa’s pace attack Khaka was the most suited to these conditions. When she was removed from the attack, runs flowed freely.
Sune Luus reintroduced Ismail in order to make a breakthrough, but no luck there. She even tried her leg breaks but they were no match for players who grow up on spin bowling. It was starting to get a little desperate for the Proteas, defending this small target.
In the 20th over Luus brought back Khaka and finally a wicket, Shamima Sultana bowled for 27, Bangladesh 69/1. Khaka struck again in the 22nd over, twice, removing Sharmin Akhter for 34, caught behind, and the same fate for Murshida Khan, gone for a duck. Khaka had removed both openers and the number four to bring South Africa right back in it.
When Fargana Hoque, Bangladesh’s best batter was runout for 8 it did feel as though the pendulum had gone the way of the Proteas. The run rate was creeping up and this batting line-up, while competent, does not possess players who can thrash an attack. The batters crawled on, but when Ayabonga took her fourth wicket – her 100th in ODIs – the game was as good as done. She finished with 4-32 and deserving of Player of the Match.
Bangladesh were all out for 175. Oh what could have been for their debut World Cup match. In the end, the two points for South Africa and they will be pleased to have survived this encounter.
South Africa 207 (Marizanne Kapp 42, Laura Wolvaardt 41, Chloe Tryon 39, Fariha Trisna 3-35, Jahanara Alam 2-28, Ritu Moni 2-36) 49.5 overs
Bangladesh 175 (Sharmin Akhter 34, Nigar Sultana 29, Ayabonga Khaka 4-32, Masabata Klaas 2-36) 49.3 overs
Player of the Match: Ayabonga Khaka