South Africa eye Super Eight stage with four-run win over Bangladesh


South Africa virtually clinched a place in the T20 World Cup Super Eight stage as spinner Keshav Maharaj defended 11 runs off the final over to help secure a nail-biting four-run victory over Bangladesh in a low-scoring Group D clash on Monday.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat on another difficult wicket in New York, the third day in a row the same pitch has been used, and limped to 113 for six in their 20 overs having recovered from 23-4.

Heinrich Klaasen (46) and David Miller (29) put on 79 for the fifth wicket, a record for South Africa in T20 World Cups, to get their total past the century mark against excellent Bangladesh bowling.

"We got a decent score (on this pitch) but were 10 runs short (of what we hoped)," Klaasen said at the post-match presentation. "The win will give us big confidence, we have had three pressure games.

"One more game to go (against Nepal on Saturday) and then on to the next phase."

The sub-continent side also found scoring difficult but when Towhid Hridoy (37) put on 44 for the fifth wicket with Mahmudullah (20), they looked on course for their first victory over the South Africans in T20 cricket.

But when Hridoy departed the scoring rate slowed again and, needing six from the final two balls, Mahmudullah was a metre away from clearing the rope but caught on the boundary by Aiden Markram as Maharaj finished with 3-27 in his four overs.

"This is a match we should have won, we nearly did but the last couple of overs they bowled well," Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto said. "It didn't happen but that's okay."

South Africa have three wins from their three games in the pool, all on the two-paced uneven New York wicket, while Bangladesh have a win and a defeat from their two fixtures.

South Africa's place in the Super Eight stage would only be in jeopardy if Nepal won their three remaining games and Netherlands were victorious in their final two. Even then the South Africans could still go through via net run-rate.

Bangladesh will feel they are in a good position to advance too with games against Netherlands and Nepal to come.

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