South Africa 382 for 5 (De Kock 174, Klaasen 90, Markram 60) beat Bangladesh 233 (Mahmudullah 111, Jansen 2-39, Rabada 2-42) by 149 runs
South Africa opted to bat first and to begin things weren’t as straightforward as the final scorecard might suggest. Bangladesh kept a lid on de Kock and Reeza Hendricks initially, and drew early blood when Shoriful Islam and Mehidy Hasan Miraz got rid of Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen cheaply. By the end of the eighth over, South Africa were wobbling mildly at 36 for 2, and there was little sign this pitch would be conducive to the runfest that followed.
But Aiden Markram and de Kock are arguably the two most in-form batters this tournament and, together, they began to gradually shut Bangladesh out of the contest. The spinners were milked down the ground as Bangladesh’s ability – and appetite – for wicket-taking receded. The holding pattern benefitted South Africa, given their power lower down the order, and soon enough, the boundaries began to flow. The hundred came up in the 21th over, the 100-partnership in the 26th. By now de Kock was closing in on his own hundred, while Markram had brought up a half-century.
Even the wicket of Markram – he eventually fell when he mistimed an inside-out aerial drive off Shakib – seemed to benefit South Africa. Klaasen came on at the perfect time – with 20 overs to go, he enough time to bed in before the planned carnage at the death – and a good enough platform in place. A pulled six off Shakib off his fourth ball made his intentions plain, before de Kock brought up his third hundred this World Cup.
A powered six and a four from Klaasen off Hasan Mahmud signalled South Africa’s gear shift into sport mode, before de Kock cranked it up to 11 in an onslaught against the Bangladesh captain. Smashing two fours and two sixes in that Shakib over that went for 22, de Kock brought up his 150, and a further 17 from the following saw South Africa speed to 300. De Kock would be denied his own double-hundred though, holing out for 174 to deep backward point, but in Miller, they had the perfect man coming in yet again.
As Bangladesh were blown away by the flurry of fours and sixes they found themselves being peppered for, they swiftly ran out of ideas, seemingly going through the motions and looking to bring the innings to an end. The last five overs had 73 runs scored, and though Klaasen was denied another brilliant hundred, he had ensured the target was well beyond Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s chase never really got going. The intent up top wasn’t evocative of a side that needed to hunt down such a huge total, and the quality of South Africa’s fast bowling straitjacketed them anyway. A couple of boundaries off Lizaad Williams in the sixth over was the first sign of acceleration, but it was put down swiftly by back-to-back wickets for Marco Jansen in the next, with Tanzid Hassan and Najmal Shanto both squeezed down leg to the wicketkeeper.
Shakib has been short of runs this tournament, and it was a trend that continued. He poked at one from Williams that Klaasen, keeping in place of a cramped-up de Kock, grabbed onto with aplomb to leave Bangladesh reeling at 31 for 3.
South Africa have shared the wickets among their bowlers all tournament, and now it was Gerald Coetzee’s turn as Mushfiqur Rahim carved one straight down deep third’s throat. Rabada would then get into the act as he trapped Litton Das in front, and Keshav Maharaj removed Mehidy as Bangladesh stumbled to 81 for 6.
Danyal Rasool is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent. @Danny61000