South Africa got a reminder on Monday that cricket can at times be an extremely cruel game.
In a game that had already been reduced to nine overs-a side-against Zimbabwe, they absolutely raced to 51/0 thanks to an all-out attack by Quinton de Kock, who scored 47 off just 18 balls, chasing 79/5.
In fact, with a further reduction of overs, they pretty much just needed the five overs (to make it an official game) to be completed to win the game on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method given they were 5 runs ahead.
There were numerous interruptions during SA’s innings and at times the players were in action while there was plenty of rain falling around them.
Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton was chief among those who (rightly) argued they shouldn’t have been out there in the first place because these were quite dangerous conditions.
But when all was said and done and the match was finally called off for good, it ended in a no-result, which wasn’t a good result for SA at all.
Not only were they heavy favourites to win the match but they were ahead for most of the match that was played.
They’ll look back at it as an opportunity missed and it may yet make all the difference as to whether they qualify for the semis.
In the end they went with skipper Temba Bavuma instead of Reeza Hendricks which as we’ve argued already in our South Africa team analysis, is a massive negative.
They also played fast bowler Lungi Ngidi instead of spinner Tabraiz Shamsi but that had a lot to do with the conditions on the day.
Good news: Bangladesh secured a T20 World Cup win in the main tournament, something they’ve found a struggle over the past few competitions.
Bad news: the match against the Netherlands was the easiest game they’ll get to play in this edition with even their match against Zimbabwe likely to be more of a challenge.
And it was a match they could easily have lost anyway. They were in trouble before good knocks by Afif Hossain (38) and Mosaddek Hossai (20) gave them something to defend.
And despite claiming early wickets, they never felt like the game was won while Colin Ackerman was still in.
Ackerman ended up scoring 62 off 48 and had he been around for a couple more overs it may have been very tight indeed.
Bangladesh’s star man and the eventual man-of-the-match was Taskin Ahmed. His brilliant spell of bowling (4-25) saw him dismiss three of the Netherlands’ Top 4 and was as good as we’ve seen this tournament by a fast bowler.
Skipper and talisman Shakib Al-Hasan had a quiet game by his standards, contributing just seven with the bat and taking a solitary wicket.
They’ll need plenty from him, Ahmed and opener Litton Das here if they’re going to be competitive.