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India get by with a little help from neighbours

Bangladesh batsmen made an abject surrender for the second match running, this time against the mighty South African pace and spin, to all but tumble out of the World Cup. Nilankur Das reports. Scorecard

cricket Updated: Mar 20, 2011 01:36 IST
Nilankur Das

Bangladesh batsmen made an abject surrender for the second match running, this time against the mighty South African pace and spin, to all but tumble out of the World Cup.

Their collapse in front of their disbelieving fans who had flocked to the Sher-e Bangla stadium meant neighbours India and England confirmed their knockout berths behind the Proteas.

With six points apiece, Bangladesh are tied with West Indies and are technically in the running for a last eight berth. However, their net run rate is so inferior their thin hopes will depend on India doing them a favour by thrashing the Caribbeans so badly in Chennai on Sunday.

However, Bangladesh batting collapsed like a local divisional team.

The ghosts of their humiliation against the West Indies returned to haunt them as they were shot out for 78 chasing South Africa's 284.

The rollercoaster ride that saw Bangladesh defeat the Netherlands, Ireland and England to keep their knockout chances alive till the end of the league campaign should have been considered a good effort.

It was till Saturday as quite a few fans queued up to enter the stadium in the morning although they did not expect Bangladesh to beat South Africa. But another humiliation changed the mood.

A single to backward point that took Bangladesh to 59 for six in the 23rd over — one more than their score against West Indies — received a loud cheer from the stands.

That people will remind them of the capitulation against West Indies every time batting collapses happen.

South Africa, having already made it to the quarter-finals from this group of death, rested their frontline pacers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Even after skipper Graeme Smith opted to bat in overcast conditions, Bangladesh failed to make an impact.

Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain who have both bowled very well for the major part of the competition, sprayed on both sides of the wicket and were walloped by the in-form Hashim Amla and even the struggling Smith.