Following South Africa’s thrilling four-run victory over Bangladesh in the ICC T20 World Cup, middle-order batter Heinrich Klaasen noted the importance of batting like in an ODI on the challenging Nassau County Stadium wicket.

In a match between two undefeated teams, South Africa edged out Bangladesh in a final-ball thriller at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Monday, moving closer to qualifying for the Super 8 stage.

With Bangladesh needing 11 runs in the final over while chasing 114, South Africa’s captain Aiden Markram made a bold decision to have Keshav Maharaj bowl the last over. Markram also took a crucial catch to dismiss Mahmudullah on the second-to-last ball, leaving Bangladesh needing six runs off the final delivery, which they couldn’t score.

At the post-match presentation, Klaasen explained, “I think David [Miller] showed us in the previous game [against the Netherlands] how to bat on this wicket. It’s similar to batting in the middle overs of a one-day game. Our mindset isn’t close to T20 cricket. You just want to get in and bat at a run-a-ball pace, knowing you’re a couple of hits away from accelerating.”

South Africa Didn’t Want to Chase 120 vs Bangladesh Bowlers – Heinrich Klaasen

Klaasen further mentioned that South Africa chose to bat first to avoid chasing 120 runs against Bangladesh’s effective bowlers on a slow pitch. “These guys (Bangladesh bowlers) are incredible when the wicket slows down. So that was the biggest reason why we didn’t want to chase 120. The wicket was better than in other games, but given Bangladesh’s ability to bowl cutters and spin under pressure, we opted to bat first,” he added.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bat first. Despite being reduced to 24/4 at one stage, Klaasen (46 off 44 balls) and David Miller (29 off 38 balls) guided their team to 113/6 in 20 overs, the lowest T20 World Cup score in South Africa’s history.

For Bangladesh, Tanzim Hasan Sakib shone with 3/18, while Taskin Ahmed took 2/19 in his four overs.

During the chase, Bangladesh was 50/4 in 9.5 overs. Towhid Hridoy (37 off 34 balls) and Mahmudullah (20 off 27 balls) brought them close to victory, but they fell short, finishing at 109/7 in 20 overs. Keshav Maharaj led South Africa’s bowling with 3/27, supported by Kagiso Rabada (2/19) and Anrich Nortje (2/17).

With three wins from three games, South Africa tops Group D with six points, while Bangladesh is second with two points from one win and one loss.

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