Sports & Motoring

Proteas Edge Bangladesh in Thrilling Low-Scoring T20 Clash in New York

South Africa secured a narrow four-run victory over Bangladesh in a low-scoring T20 World Cup match in New York, reigniting debates about the pitch suitability at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

In a nail-biting contest at the T20 World Cup, South Africa edged past Bangladesh by just four runs in a low-scoring thriller held at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. The match, which saw both teams struggling to score on a contentious drop-in pitch, is likely to spark fresh debates about the suitability of the surface for international cricket.

South Africa, batting first after winning the toss, posted a modest total of 113-6 in their 20 overs. Heinrich Klaasen was the standout performer with the bat, scoring 46 runs off 44 balls. Tanzim Hasan Sakib was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh, recording career-best figures of 3-18.

Bangladesh, chasing a seemingly achievable target of 114, found themselves in trouble early on. The Proteas’ pace attack, led by Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, dismantled the top order, reducing Bangladesh to 50-4 at the halfway mark. Tanzid Hasan (nine), Najmul Hossain Shanto (14), and Shakib Al Hasan (three) all fell cheaply, with Keshav Maharaj adding to the woes by dismissing Liton Das for nine.

Despite the early setbacks, Towhid Hridoy and veteran Mahmudullah mounted a recovery. Hridoy top-scored with 37 off 34 balls, including two fours and two sixes, before being trapped lbw by Rabada. The duo added 44 runs for the fifth wicket, giving Bangladesh a fighting chance.

With 11 runs needed off the final over, bowled by Maharaj, the tension was palpable. Bangladesh managed to score seven off the first two balls, but the pressure led to the downfall of both Jaker Ali and Mahmudullah, who were caught attempting big shots. Needing six off the final delivery, Taskin Ahmed could only muster a single, leaving Bangladesh just short at 109-7.

Earlier in the match, South Africa had been in dire straits at 23-4 before a crucial 79-run partnership between Klaasen and David Miller revived their innings. Miller, celebrating his 35th birthday, contributed 29 runs off 38 balls. His dismissal, along with Klaasen’s, in the final overs left South Africa with a sub-par total, which ultimately proved to be just enough.

This victory marked South Africa’s third win in as many Group D games, solidifying their position at the top of the group. The challenging nature of the pitch, however, has raised questions and concerns among players and commentators alike, with many calling for a reassessment of the conditions for future matches.

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