It was the same old story for Bangladesh as their bowlers strangled South Africa and restricted them to 109, but their batting couldn’t stretch the score past 80 for the fourth time this tournament. Thirty runs was a relatively huge win for South Africa, who didn’t leave the tournament with any more answers about their struggles with the bat than they had before the game began.
The atmosphere in St Lucia on Sunday: “I think it was brilliant. And I heard the game [between West Indies and England] was sold out. To get in there and see the atmosphere… 10,000 really excited fans, each and every person has rhythm, it’s quite exciting to see. The women’s game deserves a fan base like that. I hope the whole world saw how much fun the fans had tonight, and all credit to two very good sides that put up a very good show for them.”
South Africa left out Laura Wolvaardt in favour of Sune Luus, which meant Dane van Niekerk was pushed up to a more natural role as opener. She joined Lizelle Lee who had her best outing of the tournament, hitting three fours as the new opening pair struck at more than eight per over. That was until she called for a single at short-third man and was run out sliding the back of the bat into the floor with a dive. This meant that despite having crossed the crease, the curve of the bat meant it wasn’t grounded. It was somewhat unfortunate, but it was yet another run-out for South Africa in a tournament marked by them. This was further emphasised later on with Mignon du Preez’s run-out in the 18th over, which was purely her own doing and cost South Africa runs at the end of the innings.
In the middle, they were kept quiet by a very disciplined spin attack that pulled Bangladesh back from a Powerplay in which they had conceded 48. Van Niekerk was forced into a shell, and Marizanne Kapp was stunningly caught at deep midwicket by Fargana Hoque, diving to her left. From there, a series of ordinary shots against straight balls translated into a massive collapse and slowdown. Niekerk, Luus, Chloe Tryon, and Masabata Klaas were all bowled with the ball sneaking between bat and pad. Salma Khatun and Khadija Kubra were often the bowlers inflicting such damage.
Neither team had incentive as far as progressing in the tournament was concerned, but at the halfway stage, Bangladesh had opened up one prospect – if they had chased 110 down in about 13 overs, they would have finished above South Africa on the table and sealed direct qualification to the next edition of the tournament.
But that was never in the plan, it turned out, as they prodded through another unproductive batting Powerplay, making 13 for 1 in the first six overs. The boundary shots, it seemed, was limited to the sweep, which meant they had to wait till the eighth over to pick up their first four. But even with a largely spin-heavy attack through the middle overs, South Africa didn’t face too much by way of aggression. Bangladesh seemed resigned to the fate that they didn’t have sufficient big-hitters in the squad and the required rate had seemed too steep for them before even the halfway mark. Hoque and Rumana Ahmed batted nearly eight overs for their fourth-wicket stand of 27. It was the most significant one of the innings, and the underlying theme of the chase.
Score: South Africa 109/9 (Kapp 25, Salma 3-20); Bangladesh 79/5 (Rumana 34*, Daniels 1/6), South Africa win by 30 runs.