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SA on brink of Super 8s with tense win over Bangladesh

T20 World Cup, Group D, New York

South Africa 113-6 (20 overs): Klaasen 46 (44); Tanzim 3-18

Bangladesh 109-7 (20 overs): Hridoy 37 (34); Maharaj 3-27

South Africa won by four runs

Scorecard. Table

Heinrich Klaasen hit a vital 46 as South Africa claimed a nervy four-run victory over Bangladesh that put them on the brink of securing a place in the T20 World Cup Super 8s.

A combination of the pitch, poor shot selection and good bowling from Bangladesh saw South Africa teetering on 23-4 after they won the toss, as Tanzim Hasan Sakib snaffled 3-18.

Klaasen hit three fours and two sixes in his 44-ball innings as he shared a 79-run partnership with the dependable David Miller to help South Africa recover to compile a defendable 113-6.

Bangladesh made a decent fist of the run chase and at 94-4 with three overs remaining were probably slight favourites.

However, when Kagiso Rabada took the key wicket of Towhid Hridoy for 37 the momentum swung back to the Proteas.

Bangladesh required six off the final two balls and a sizable contingent of their fans momentarily thought they had done it when Mahmudullah heaved a Keshav Maharaj full toss down the ground, only for Aiden Markram to pouch a catch inches from the boundary.

Offered another chance with a full toss from Maharaj off the final ball of the match, Taskin Ahmed could only slice it for a single.

South Africa, who have won all nine of their T20 internationals against Bangladesh, are unbeaten in the tournament so far with three victories and top Group D.

Proteas hold nerve to deny Tigers

This match had the potential to be an anti-climax after India's win over Pakistan 24 hours earlier, but it delivered a thrilling contest played out against a colourful backdrop as Bangladesh fans descended on Eishenhower Park in their numbers.

The temporary stands shook with fans clad in green and red, some dressed as tigers, as their bowlers wrestled the early initiative.

Tanzim trapped Reeza Hendricks lbw for a golden duck and the decibel level climbed again when Quinton de Kock misjudged a pull and was bowled by the Bangladesh seamer.

Markram and Tristan Stubbs came and went in quick succession to leave South Africa in deep trouble, but they had been in a similar position against the Netherlands a few days previously.

On that occasion Miller was the key batter and his measured approach here, alongside the more aggressive Klaasen, stymied Bangladesh’s early enthusiasm.

Klaasen’s superb knock came to an end when he tried to heave Taskin (2-16) into the stands, only for the ball to skid through and clatter into middle stump before Miller perished to spinner Rishad Hossain.

Bangladesh’s innings began positively, with excellent running between the wickets a feature throughout, as they made South Africa work hard in the field.

Hridoy twice dispatched Maharaj over the ropes – the first courtesy of a biff down the ground in the ninth over, and the second whipped over square leg five overs later.

There was a pivotal moment off the second ball of the 17th over when a delivery from Ottniel Baartman hit Mahmudullah on the pad and the ball raced away for four leg byes.

However, because Mahmudullah was given out lbw on the field by the umpire - subsequently overturned on review - the ball went dead the moment the finger was raised, which meant the four byes did not count.

It might not have been so crucial had Hridoy's lbw review, after he was struck on the pad attempting work Rabada off his legs, been overturned.

But the technology showed the ball was just clipping leg stump so Hridoy had to go and Bangladesh’s hopes – despite Maharaj almost blowing it with two full bungers – effectively went with him.

'We should have won' - reaction

Player of the match, South Africa batter Heinrich Klaasen: "It was not a nice one to watch, it was good that the boys got it over the line.

"It'll be good confidence for the boys, we've had three pressurised games now."

Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto: "We should have won. Last couple of overs they bowled well, it can happen in cricket."

South Africa captain Aiden Markram: "Sometimes when you get on the right side it makes for good entertainment.

"It was fantastic for Klaasen and Miller to get some runs and the two of them were a great partnership."