Mashrafe wants respect after South Africa romp - GulfToday

Mashrafe wants respect after South Africa romp


Bangladesh’s captain Mashrafe Mortaza (centre) leads his team back to the pavilion after victory against South Africa. Reuters

Mashrafe Mortaza hopes Bangladesh have earned respect with their impressive 21-run win over beleaguered South Africa in their World Cup opener on Sunday.

Mashrafe’s side posted 330 for six as Mushfiqur Rahim (78) and Shakib Al Hasan (75) laid the foundations of their impressive display at the Oval.

Mahmudullah’s boisterous 46 not out from 33 balls pushed Bangladesh past their previous highest one-day international total of 329 for six against Pakistan in 2015.

Attempting to become the first team to successfully chase more than 330 to win a World Cup match, South Africa fell short at 309 for eight.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis scored 62 from 53 balls, but Bangladesh seamer Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets and economical spinners Shakib and Mehidy Hasan wrapped up a memorable victory.

After reaching the World Cup quarter-finals in 2015, Bangladesh again look capable of shaking up cricket’s established order, to the delight of their army of vociferous supporters who packed the Oval.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe believes the Tigers are still seen as minnows by most of the cricket world, but he claims they are now strong enough that wins over teams such as South Africa shouldn’t be seen as an upset anymore.

Asked if this was a sign of Bangladesh’s development, the skipper replied: “Do you think this was a surprise? If we can deliver our best we knew what we could do.

“I’m sure some people don’t think well of our cricket. We are concentrating on our game and let other people talk. We have played well in a few matches before at the World Cup. I don’t think this is our best result, but it’s one of the best.

“We played so well, especially in England where the conditions don’t favour us. I’m sure it won’t happen every day but I love to play this way.”

In contrast, South Africa are in turmoil after Du Plessis’ decision to bowl first backfired despite two wickets from veteran spinner Imran Tahir in his 100th ODI appearance.

With the World Cup just four days old, they have already lost twice in south London -- this disappointing performance following their 104-run thrashing by hosts England.

South Africa, who have never won the World Cup, are left with little margin for error in the rest of the 10-team round-robin group stage.

It won’t get any easier for the Proteas in their next match when they face title contenders India on Wednesday.

Agence France-Presse

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