MOMENTS | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 03, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:16 AM, June 03, 2019


An early slip

Ever since their readmission to world cricket in 1991, South Africa have consistently been one of the best fielding sides in the game. Their reputation as, to put it kindly, a side that lets the goose loose under pressure is almost as old. Soumya hit successive short balls from Lungi Ngidi in authoritative manner to the forward square leg and wide long on boundaries in the fifth over. A ball later, Ngidi came around the wicket and had the right idea, only the two slip fielders were not in the loop. Soumya edged a full delivery that was slipping away at perfect height for any first slip worth his salt. But Faf du Plessis at second slip half-attempted a catch and Aiden Markram at first slip did not even move. It was the first sign that it would not be South Africa’s day on the field.

Tamim vs Ngidi

In the seventh over, Tamim Iqbal hit the ball straight back at Ngidi and the bowler, in a show of aggression, hurled the ball back at the batsman. It caught Tamim by surprise and he had to defend himself with his bat. He did not seem too happy about it. It is impossible to tell whether it was because of Ngidi’s aggression the previous ball but off the next Tamim -- who had been playing sedately then -- ladled a bit of extra spice onto his pull shot as he creamed the ball through midwicket for his second boundary. That was the only bit of needle between the sides, and the participants did not stick around for long. Tamim departed in the ninth over, and Ngidi was off the field for the rest of the innings with a side strain.

The Mosaddek miscalculation

Mosaddek Hossain’s trouble against pace bowling and short balls is well documented. But there is such a thing as too much homework. The game was in the balance when Mosaddek came in at 250 for five in the 43rd over. South Africa thought they had his number. Andile Phehlukwayo was bowling the 45th over and with Mosaddek on strike, Du Plessis chose to keep long on vacant and station a wide, close mid-on. The message was clear; the Proteas would bowl short at Mosaddek and he would be unable to hit it front of square. The fifth ball of the over proved it right, as Mosaddek flayed at a short delivery and top-edged it for four over the keeper’s head. The fifth, however, showed that Mosaddek had been doing a bit of homework of his own as he creamed a pull to where an orthodox mid-on would have been. That shot started the flow from Mosaddek, who played a crucial hand in Bangladesh’s highest ever score.

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