South Africa bowls out Bangladesh for 84, wins by 6 wickets

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — South Africa bundled out Bangladesh for 84 runs and won by six wickets in a considerable boost to its T20 World Cup semifinals hopes on Tuesday.

South Africa’s third win in the Super 12s eliminated injury-hit Bangladesh from semifinals contention with a fourth consecutive loss.

Fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada shared six cheap wickets, then their batsmen survived Taskin Ahmed’s twin early strikes as captain Temba Bavuma’s unbeaten knock of 31 carried them to 86-4 in 13.3 overs.

“(There was) quite a lot in the wicket early on, but full credit to KG and Nortje for exploiting it,” Bavuma said. “It’s never easy when you have one guy bowling 150 (kph) and another getting so much out of the wicket with his skill.”

In the absence of injured star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s top-order batsmen fell to Rabada’s (3-20) pace and captain Mahmudullah fended off an easy catch against Nortje’s (3-8) pacey bouncer to slip to 34-4 in eight overs.

Left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shami’s (2-21) knack of taking wickets in the middle overs paid off, and Nortje got the last two wickets off successive deliveries to dismiss Bangladesh in 18.2 overs.

Nortje ran to grab a mistimed top-edged pull of top-scorer Mehdi Hasan (27) then No. 10 Shoriful Islam became only the second player in T20 World Cup history to get out by hit wicket after he went deep into his crease against a full-pitched delivery only to knock back his stumps with his bat.

Bangladesh’s 84 was its third lowest total in the tournament history.

“The wicket was pretty good to bowl on in the first half,” Mahmudullah said.

“We weren’t good enough in the middle, that was a poor batting display. It’s frustrating, but we could have won two games (against West Indies and Sri Lanka), if we had won those games, it would have been a different story.”

South Africa next takes on unbeaten England in their last crucial group game on Saturday and Bavuma hopes to sneak into the semifinals with a win over Eoin Morgan’s side.

“It’s a big game (against England), looking at the competition the way it is, they have had the better of us recently, and we would like to change that,” Bavuma said.

Bangladesh completes its campaign against Australia on Thursday.

South Africa’s Anrich Nortje, left, celebrates with teammates after dismissing Bangladesh’s captain Mohammad Mahmudullah during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between South Africa and Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

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