WC2019

WC19: Bangladesh humbles South Africa

Aussies, Kiwis starts off with easy wins

The 1st weekend of 2019 World cup ends with a superb allround show by Bangladesh over a listless South Africa.  Sent to bat first on a belter of a pitch at Oval, the Bangladesh openers particularly Soumya Sarkar scored at rapid pace ,with crisp cover drives and pulls off the fast bowlers to get an attractive 42 off 30 balls followed by a brilliant 142 run stand between Shakib (75) and keeper Musfiqur Rahim (78) putting the off colour Protea attack to the sword with enterprising batting.Later Mahmudullah with his rapid 46 notout off 33 balls helped Bangladesh to get 54 runs in last 5 overs including a superbly whipped six off Rabada in final overs to take their team to 330/6 in 50 overs,an imposing target.

In reply the Proteas were restricted by some tight bowling by the spinners in particular and could never cut loose . Decock (23) could not find his fluent touch and was runout after a big misunderstanding with Markram (45) who seemed to take off and then withdrew.Markram looked good but could not cut loose. Skipper Duplessis  (62 off 53 balls) however looked in ominous touch and looked dangerous till he was bowled trying to step out to Mehdi Hassan. The middle order struggled to force the pace against the spinners and Mustafizur with Miller (38) , Van Dussen  (41), Duminy (45) all perished trying to force the pace. Shakib (1/50), Mehdi (1/44) ,Saifuddin (2/57) and Mustafizur (3/67) never allowed the Proteas off the hook and they full short by 21 runs with Shakib getting the man of the match. The was a highly impressive and professional display by Bangladesh who never allowed South Africa to get off the hook in a good game of cricket.

In other matches during weekend , the Aussies and the Black caps  had easy wins over Afghanistan and Srilanka respectively.  Australia snuffed out the Afghanistan challenge reaching a target of 208 with a 7 wicket win at Bristol with Warner scoring a responsible 89 notout(114 balls) in his first official game after one year ban and skipper Finch scoring 66 off 49 balls.Earlier the Aussie bowlers had a fair workout as they dismissed Afghans for 207 with Starc, Cummins, Zampa amongst wickets.

New Zealand beat 1996 Champs Srilanka by 10 wickets in another weekend one sided contest. Skipper Karunaratne (52 notout) fought a lone hand as Srilanka struggled against top class kiwi pace attack with Henry (3/29) and Fergusion  (3/22) rocking them with pace and movement on a green pitch. In reply Guptill (73 off 51) and Munro (58 off 47) knocked off the target of 136 playing cracking strokes all round the ground.

Thus for South Africa and Sri Lanka , their task is cut out for their remaining games after worse possible start.

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Amitava Mukherjee

A commerce graduate with work experience in Banking sector. An avid sports enthusiast. Big fan of soccer cricket and tennis

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