LONDON: Bangladesh piled up their highest one-day International total and bowled superbly to upset South Africa by 21 runs in the Cricket World Cup at The Oval on Sunday.
It was a major scalp for Bangladesh, underlining their reputation as dangerous outsiders at the tournament, while South Africa slumped to their second successive defeat.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan put together a record partnership as Bangladesh made 330 for six after being put into bat.
That meant South Africa needed to pull off the highest run chase in World Cup history, but they ended on 309 for eight and with their next game against India on Wednesday, their chances of making the semi-finals are already under threat.
Mushfiqur and Shakib added 142 runs for the third wicket to notch up Bangladesh’s highest World Cup partnership in an aggressive batting display backed by enthusiastic support.
Bangladesh moved on to 217-2 before Shakib was bowled for 75 by Imran Tahir in the 36th over while attempting a sweep shot to a full-pitched ball.
Mushfiqur went for 78 not long after, caught on the boundary off Andile Phehlukwayo.
But South Africa, who lost to hosts England at the same venue on Thursday, were unable to keep the brakes on and continued to leak runs right to the end of the innings.
Mahmudullah hit an unbeaten 46 and Mosaddek Hossain scored 26 runs off 20 balls as Bangladesh smashed 54 runs off the last four overs.
“It was one of our top innings. We’ve had some previous upsets but this is a World Cup where we really want to do well,” said man-of-the-match Shakib.
“It’s the way we wanted to start, you cannot get better than that.”
South Africa had gambled on putting Bangladesh, four places below them in the ODI rankings, into bat and hoping to bounce them out cheaply with their pace attack but that fell flat on a docile wicket, and was exacerbated by a hamstring injury to Lungi Ngidi.
The fast bowler left the field after bowling just four overs and is a doubt for Wednesday.
“Nothing went to plan and I feel we are firing at only 50 to 60% of our potential,” said losing captain Faf du Plessis.
South Africa’s target was a tough one and after Quinton de Kock departed, Aiden Markram (45) was bowled by Shakib to make the Bangladeshi all-rounder, playing his 199th ODI, the fastest player to the double of 5,000 runs and 250 wickets.
Du Plessis threatened to lead a successful chase but was bowled for 63, followed by David Miller (38) and Rassie van der Dussen (41) as South African hopes slipped away.
Mustafizur Rahman returned the best figures of 3-52 but all six bowlers contributed to keeping South Africa in check with a good variety of deliveries.