Turning Point: The whole world was trying to make Bangladesh win… but Keshav did not accept this; he won the match in 2 balls

Orhan Wadia
Orhan Wadia - Editor
6 Min Read

New Delhi. This can be called the most exciting over not only of the match between South Africa and Bangladesh, but of all the T20 World Cup matches so far. An over in which Bangladesh needed 11 runs to win and had 5 wickets left. There were two specialist batsmen at the crease. One batsman remained at the crease for 45 minutes. It seemed as if the whole universe had come together to make Bangladesh win. But Keshav Maharaj did not approve of this. Keshav came in this last over of his match and wiped out Bangladesh. He made South Africa win the lost match. With this, South Africa became the first team to reach the Super-8 of the T20 World Cup.

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The match between South Africa and Bangladesh was played on the same Nassau County pitch on which the India-Pakistan match was played. It was no longer a secret that the pitch was not good for batting at all. The whole world knew this. As a result, South Africa captain Aiden Markram won the toss and said that they would bat first. He reasoned that batting later would become difficult.

South Africa came to the field with the intention that whatever runs they had to score, they should score them quickly. They would not be able to score runs later. But this thinking backfired when they lost 4 wickets for 23 runs within 5 overs. On one hand, their dream was to score 120-130 and on the other hand, the team started struggling to score even 50 runs. At such a time, two senior batsmen of the team came in handy. Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller showed their test match game in the T20 match. The intention was clear that they should not get out, but runs would keep on coming. Klaasen and Miller succeeded in their intention. They rescued the team from the crisis by making a partnership of 79 runs for the fifth wicket. South Africa scored 113 runs in the stipulated 20 overs. This was the same number of runs that Pakistan had scored to lose. That is, South Africa's runs were 10-15 runs less than expected. Its bowlers compensated for this by restricting Bangladesh to a score of 109 runs.

While chasing the target of 114 runs, Bangladesh also had a bad start. They lost 4 wickets within 50 runs. But after this, Tauheed Hridaya (37) and Mahmudullah (20) handled the innings. This pair broke when Bangladesh had reached 94 runs and Tauheed was out.

After Tauheed was out, Bangladesh needed 20 runs from 17 balls to win. The target was not difficult. From here Mahmudullah and Zaker Ali (8) took the team to 102 runs. Now Bangladesh had to score 11 runs from the last over i.e. 6 balls to win and Mahmudullah and Zaker Ali were at the crease.

The last over of the match was bowled by Keshav Maharaj. Bangladesh had the upper hand, but Keshav was determined to make the team called 'choker' win the match. Keshav's first ball was wide, but he did not let the pressure overwhelm him. He bowled the second ball, which was a length ball and Mahmudullah could score only one run on it. Now Jekar came to the crease and scored 2 runs on the next ball. Now Bangladesh had to score 7 runs in the last 4 balls to win. The target had become like eating a laddoo, but then Keshav Maharaj got Jekar caught at long on. The game was changing. The momentum had changed due to the new batsman coming to the crease.

Bangladesh needed 7 runs to win in the last three balls. Keshav bowled the fourth ball of the 20th over, on which Bangladesh got one run through leg bye. Now Mahmudullah was at the crease and Bangladesh needed six runs to win. Mahmudullah, who is an expert in playing big shots, thought of playing a shot outside the boundary but he too was caught out at long on like Jaker. Keshav had brought South Africa close to victory but there was still one ball left. Bangladesh batsman Taskin Ahmed had a chance to give his team victory by hitting a six but Keshav did not let him do so. Keshav also gave only one run on his last ball and thus South Africa won the match by 4 runs.

tag: Bangladesh, ICC T20 World Cup, South Africa, T20 World Cup

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