South Africa’s batters had their fun and their bowlers shared the wickets around in what is becoming a familiar bat-first script for them this tournament. 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 continue to bludgeon all before their path when they bat first, and it doesn’t seem to matter who’s in the way. This time, it was Bangladesh who were the unfortunate victims, with South Africa putting them to the sword in a 149-run demolition. It was led by an enormous contribution from Quinton de Kock, whose 140-ball 174 powered South Africa to 382. At the death, to help him along, he had Heinrich Klaasen, who smashed 90 off 49 balls as South Africa racked up 144 in the final 10 overs. Bangladesh were never in the chase in response and, as with every other game of South Africa’s in this tournament, all five bowlers chipped in with wickets.
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.
South Africa were getting as many runs as they wanted by this stage, with the game played entirely on their terms. But the trademark brutality they demonstrated against England wasn’t yet in evidence; and by the end of the 37st over, they had only just brought up the 200. What followed after that, though, was a repeat dose of what England had suffered at this venue three days earlier.
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.