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Keshav Maharaj’s Last-Over Heroics Seal Narrow Victory for South Africa Against Bangladesh


In a pulse-pounding T20 World Cup match in New York on Monday, South Africa narrowly edged past Bangladesh by four runs in a low-scoring thriller, thanks to Keshav Maharaj’s last-over heroics. The left-arm spinner managed to defend 11 runs in the final over, despite delivering three full tosses, which the Bangladeshi batsmen failed to capitalize on.

The encounter was a gripping affair with fortunes oscillating between the two teams. Bangladesh, chasing a modest target of 114, were tantalizingly close, guided by steely innings from Mahmudullah (20) and Towhid Hridoy (37). However, the South African bowlers, exhibiting nerves of steel, managed to clinch victory in the final over.

With the equation down to six runs needed from two balls, Mahmudullah aimed for glory but was spectacularly caught near the boundary by Aiden Markram off Maharaj’s bowling, who ended with figures of 3/27, the most successful among the South African bowlers. Bangladesh eventually finished at 109 for seven, falling just short of their target.

Anrich Nortje (2/17) continued to shine with the ball, while Kagiso Rabada (2/19) and Marco Jansen (0/17) offered formidable support in restricting the Bangladeshi batting lineup. Earlier, South Africa struggled initially but managed to post a total of 113 for six after opting to bat first on a challenging pitch.

Bangladesh’s response started positively with Tanzid Hasan (9) hitting a couple of boundaries before falling early. Their captain Najmul Hossain Shanto (14 off 23) and Litton Das (9 off 13) got starts but couldn’t convert them into significant contributions. The experienced Shakib Al Hasan (3) was undone by Nortje’s pace and a mistimed shot that resulted in a simple catch.

At 50 for four, Bangladesh appeared to be in trouble until Towhid Hridoy and Mahmudullah built a promising partnership of 44 runs for the fifth wicket, bringing their team close to victory. Hridoy began assertively with a six and kept the scoreboard ticking alongside Mahmudullah as they maneuvered the ball skillfully and found occasional boundaries.

Just as Bangladesh seemed to be closing in, Hridoy’s dismissal leg-before off Rabada in the 18th over shifted the momentum back to the Proteas.

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. The scoreline suddenly presented a challenging scenario for Bangladesh, making the task daunting as the overs dwindled.

In the first half of the game, Bangladesh had excelled in restricting South Africa’s total thanks to some fine bowling by their pacers in favorable conditions. Tanzim Hasan Sakib (3/18) and Taskin Ahmed (2/19) particularly stood out, dismantling the Proteas’ top order early in the innings. Mustafizur Rahman (0/18) also contributed effectively, sustaining the pressure on the batsmen.

Tanzim struck thrice in his initial spell, leaving South Africa at a precarious 23 for four in the first five overs. Quinton de Kock (18) briefly looked threatening, hitting a six and a four before Tanzim trapped Reeza Hendricks in front for a golden duck. The South African skipper Aiden Markram (4) and Tristan Stubbs (0) also fell cheaply as the innings teetered on the brink.

Heinrich Klaasen (46) and David Miller (29) then took on the mantle of revival, compiling a partnership of 79 runs for the fifth wicket. Klaasen initiated counter-attacks against Bangladesh spinners, hitting a couple of sixes, while Miller played a steady hand, rotating the strike and hitting critical boundaries. However, the duo struggled to shift gears on a two-paced wicket, with Klaasen eventually falling to Taskin after a valiant 44-ball effort laden with two fours and three sixes.

Despite the fightback, run-scoring remained difficult on the Nassau County pitch, testing the batsmen’s patience and composure. Klaasen and Miller’s inability to accelerate significantly highlighted the surface’s tricky nature, thus underscoring the significance of Tanzim and Taskin’s earlier exploits with the ball.

The T20 World Cup clash showcased a blend of tactical play, dramatic twists, and individual brilliance, with Keshav Maharaj’s nerve-wracking final over standing out as a highlight. As the dust settles on this encounter, both teams will undoubtedly reflect on the narrow margins that defined the match’s outcome, with South Africa emerging as the resilient victors.