South Africa beat Bangladesh by just four runs in another low-scoring game at the T20 World Cup on Monday, which is likely to spark fresh debate over the suitability of the pitch used in New York. South Africa were restricted to 113-6 in their 20 overs with Henrik Klaasen leading the charge with 46 runs while fast bowler Hasan Saqib took 3-18. However, Bangladesh could only manage 109-7 in reply as South Africa sealed their third win in three Group D games.

“It wasn’t just nice to see, it was nice that the guys got it off the line,” Klaasen said. “The wicket is not very good for stroke play.”

Chasing just 114 to win on a controversial drop-in wicket at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium, Bangladesh faced a blistering pace battery from the Proteas early on.

They were 50-4 at the 10-over mark when they lost Tanzid Hasan (nine) to Kagiso Rabada while Enrich Nortje parted with captain Najamul Hasan Shantu (14) and Shakib Al Hasan (three). Spinner Keshav Maharaj sent Latindas back for just nine.

However, Tawheed Hardoy, who top-scored with 40 as Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka in their opener, and 38-year-old Mahmudullah steadied the ship for the Tigers.

The pair put on 44 runs for the fifth wicket before Hardoy was left lbw by Rabada for 37, an innings that featured two fours and two sixes off 34 balls. Bangladesh played seven in the final over but needed 11 runs in the last over to be bowled by Maharaj.

It became seven in four balls. With the pressure building, Jackar Ali and Mahmudullah were both caught at long-on by Aiden Markram.

Needing a six off the last ball, Tasin Ahmed could only manage a scrambled single.

‘Should have won’

“I think this is a match we should have won. They bowled well in the last two overs, but that can happen in cricket,” said Shantu.

Earlier, Bangladesh restricted South Africa to 113-6 with Tanzim taking 2-19 from Tasin as Proteas skipper Markram won the toss and elected to bat. South Africa were struggling at 23-4 at one stage before Klaasen and David Miller, celebrating his 35th birthday, came to the rescue with a 79-run fifth-wicket partnership.

Klaasen scored 46 off 44 balls, with two fours and three sixes, before he was clean bowled by Taksin, falling over the line with the score on 102 in the 18th over.

Miller, who scored an unbeaten 59 in a nervy win over the Netherlands, was bowled by Rashad Hussain after four runs.

His innings of 29 runs came from 38 balls with one four and one six. The Proteas were 12-4 against the Dutch on the same pitch on Saturday.

On Monday, he was quickly bowled out for just 23 runs in the fifth over thanks to Tanzim and Taksin. Tanzim, playing in just his eighth T20 International, started the disaster, with out-of-form opener Reza Hendricks LBW for no loss on his first ball.

Star batsman Quinton de Kock was next up, clean bowled by the 21-year-old for a total of 18. Tussin uprooted the stumps of Markram (four) before Tanzim grabbed the third score of his opening spell when he was forced. Tristan Stubbs catches Shakib Al Hasan for no score.

Miller could have been out on 13 but wicketkeeper Liton Das dropped an edge off Mahmudullah’s first delivery.

With South Africa’s place in the second round Super Eight stage almost certain, Bangladesh, with two points, are still well placed to join them.

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