South Africa’s dominance when batting first continued as they overwhelmed Bangladesh with a 149-run victory. Quinton de Kock played a pivotal role with his exceptional 174 off 140 balls, powering South Africa to a formidable total of 382. In the final 10 overs, Heinrich Klaasen’s quickfire 90 off 49 balls further bolstered South Africa’s innings, as they added 144 runs during that period. In response, Bangladesh struggled to mount a challenge, and as has been the case throughout the tournament, all five South African bowlers contributed with crucial wickets.
South Africa’s decision to bat first didn’t initially go as planned. Bangladesh managed to contain de Kock and Reeza Hendricks early on and dismissed Hendricks and Rassie van der Dussen cheaply. By the eighth over, South Africa was at 36 for 2, and it appeared that the pitch might not favor a high-scoring encounter.
However, Aiden Markram and de Kock, two of the most in-form batsmen in the tournament, gradually took control and pushed Bangladesh out of the contest. South Africa effectively managed the spinners, reducing Bangladesh’s chances of taking wickets. This holding pattern favored South Africa, considering their strong lower-order batting capabilities. Soon, the boundaries started flowing, and the team reached the hundred-run mark in the 21st over and the 100-partnership in the 26th over. De Kock was closing in on his century, while Markram had already reached his fifty.
The dominating performance by South Africa showcased their ability to set imposing totals when batting first in the tournament.
The dismissal of Aiden Markram, who mistimed an inside-out aerial drive off Shakib, appeared to work in South Africa’s favor. Heinrich Klaasen came to the crease at a strategic point, with 20 overs left and a solid platform already established. His aggressive intent was evident when he pulled a six off Shakib on just his fourth ball. Quinton de Kock, on the other hand, reached his third century of the tournament.
At this stage, South Africa appeared to be scoring as many runs as they desired, with the game being entirely played on their terms. However, their trademark aggression, as seen in the match against England, had not yet fully materialized. By the end of the 37th over, they had just crossed the 200-run mark. But what followed was a repeat of their performance against England at the same venue a few days earlier.
Heinrich Klaasen’s power-hitting, including a six and a four off Hasan Mahmud, signaled South Africa’s shift into a more aggressive mode. De Kock then launched an onslaught against Bangladesh’s captain, Shakib, smashing two fours and two sixes in an over that went for 22 runs. This assault helped de Kock reach his 150, and a further 17 runs from the following over pushed South Africa to 300. De Kock’s quest for a double century was cut short as he was caught at deep backward point for 174, but David Miller was the ideal batsman to come in next.
As Bangladesh struggled to cope with the flurry of boundaries and sixes, they appeared to be running out of ideas and were merely going through the motions, eager to conclude the innings. The last five overs saw 73 runs scored, and although Klaasen was denied another superb century, he had already ensured that Bangladesh faced a target well beyond their reach.
Bangladesh’s chase never gained momentum. The opening batsmen’s intent did not reflect the urgency required to chase down a massive total, and South Africa’s quality fast bowling further stifled their efforts. A couple of boundaries off Lizaad Williams in the sixth over provided a brief moment of acceleration, but it was quickly halted by Marco Jansen, who took back-to-back wickets in the next over. Both Tanzid Hassan and Najmal Shanto were caught down the leg side by the wicketkeeper.
Shakib Al Hasan, who has struggled for runs in this tournament, continued his poor form. He edged one from Williams, and Heinrich Klaasen, keeping wickets in place of the injured Quinton de Kock, took a sharp catch, leaving Bangladesh at 31 for 3.
South Africa’s bowlers, who had shared the wickets throughout the tournament, continued to trouble Bangladesh. Gerald Coetzee removed Mushfiqur Rahim, who skied a delivery straight to the deep third man fielder. Kagiso Rabada then trapped Litton Das in front of the stumps, and Keshav Maharaj dismissed Mehidy Hasan Miraz, leaving Bangladesh struggling at 81 for 6.
The match may have ended in a record defeat, but Mahmudullah’s performance was a bright spot for Bangladesh. Initially left out of Bangladesh’s World Cup squad, he was the only batsman who showed some degree of comfort against South Africa’s potent attack. He had the confidence to take on Marco Jansen, both with his batting and his attitude, and even stood up to the taller bowler when offered a verbal exchange.
South Africa had encountered difficulties in dismissing the lower-order batsmen in this tournament, and this issue resurfaced. Similar to the situations with England and the Netherlands, the Bangladeshi lower-order batsmen continued to fight, and Mahmudullah, with his aggressive approach, was inching closer to a century. South Africa’s bowling and fielding became sloppy as Mahmudullah expertly managed to farm the strike, eventually reaching his third World Cup hundred with a delicate nudge into the leg side.
However, this fightback was merely a minor distraction in a match that South Africa had thoroughly dominated. Gerald Coetzee finally removed Mahmudullah with a full and wide delivery, and shortly after, Lizaad Williams delivered the finishing blow. Bangladesh was eventually bowled out for 233, propelling South Africa to second place in the points table and sending Bangladesh to the bottom.