Amla leads SA to victory
Hashim Amla struck a superb, unbeaten half-century to help South Africa to a 39-run win over Bangladesh in their Twenty20 Triangular match at the Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.
Amla was in sublime form as he carved his way to 88 not out off just 53 deliveries with nine fours and three sixes as South Africa posted a formidable 209 for three.
Bangladesh, despite a fine 50 not out off 32 balls with five fours and a six from Mushfiqur Rahim, could only manage 170 for eight with left-arm spinner Robin Peterson claiming the superb figures of 2-16 off four overs.
The right-handed Amla brought up his third T20 fifty off 30 balls while his final score was his highest in T20 cricket beating his previous best of 57.
Opening batsman Amla shared in three half-century partnerships as South Africa made full use of winning the toss and electing to bat on a pitch which was slightly on the slow side but which held precious few demons for the batsmen.
Amla, the stand-in skipper in place of the injured Johan Botha who did not tour, did not appear flustered by the added responsibility of captaincy as he and Richard Levi plundered 70 runs for the first wicket.
Levi was in a particularly aggressive mood as he lashed his way to 37 off 21 balls before he was flummoxed by a slower ball from seamer Ziaur Rehman to spoon a return catch to the bowler.
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Amla, who was dropped with his score on 32, and Colin Ingram then added 65 runs for the second wicket with Ingram contributing 29 off 22 balls.
Ingram was dismissed in slightly unfortunate fashion when he tried to sweep a delivery from off-spinner Mahmudullah only for the ball to bounce off his leg and head towards the stumps.
Ingram thought a run was on and he set off for a single but keeper Mushfiqur did well to scoop up the ball to run Ingram out.
Albie Morkel struck some lusty blows in scoring 22 before he edged a delivery from seamer Mashrafe Mortaza to Mushfiqur before some devastating hitting from JP Duminy took South Africa past to the 200-run mark.
Duminy powered his way to 23 not out off just seven balls, with three fours and six.
Ziaur was the stand-out bowler with figures of 1-28 off three overs.
Bangladesh were soon in trouble in their innings as they slumped to 49 for four despite an entertaining knock of 33 from opening batsman Mohammad Ashraful.
Peterson, who conceded eight runs off his first over, struck twice in the space of four balls when he had Jahurul Islam (12) caught at long-on before Nasir Hossain (0) was caught at short third man.
Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah then added some respectability to the innings as they added 61 runs off 40 balls for the fifth wicket before Mahmudullah, after scoring 34 off 23 balls, was caught at mid-off off the bowling of seamer Albie Morkel.
Ziaur (18) and Mortaza (8) swung the bat lustily but it was all too little too late for Bangladesh despite Mushfiqur reaching his fifty off the last ball of the match.
Fast bowler Marchant de Lange ended with figures of 2-33 but left-arm quick Wayne Parnell had a match to forget as he conceded 61 runs off his four overs as he battled to find his length while he also offered up four no-balls and two wides.
SOUTH AFRICA – Hashim Amla (capt), Richard Levi, Colin Ingram, Justin Ontong, JP Duminy, Albie Morkel, Robin Peterson, Dane Vilas (wk), Wayne Parnell, Marchant de Lange, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
BANGLADESH – Anamul Haque, Mohammad Ashraful, Ziaur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt, wk), Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Elias Sunny, Abdur Razzak, Jahurul Islam, Abul Hasan.