South Africa put forward the fieriest spectacle of high-octane fast bowling yet at the T20 World Cup in their Group 1 encounter against Bangladesh.
Kagiso Rabada shrugged off his recent indifferent form – he had two wickets at 43.5 in the T20 World Cup before this game – to team up with fellow speedster Anrich Nortje in dismantling the Bangladesh line-up.
The pitch had a thin covering of grass on which helped with the carry and speed of the ball. Rabada and Nortje made sure that they got the most out of this strip.
Rabada began the proceedings with a vicious new ball spell which saw him take three wickets in five balls, during which he came agonisingly close to claiming the third hat-trick of the tournament.
Kagiso Rabada has 3-0 in 5 balls for SA v Bangladesh, who are 24-3 in the sixth.
— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) November 2, 2021
His first victim was Mohammad Naim, who tried to go for a big hit and ended up finding the fielder at mid-wicket. The very next ball was a scorching yorker which took the boot of Soumya Sarkar. Off the hat-trick ball, an edge from Mushfiqur Rahim fell just short of the fielder at point. His third wicket was that of Mushfiqur, who was bounced out with an absolute rip-snorter, a chance which was just taken by Reeza Hendricks.
Absolute clinic from Rabada and Nortje – pace, bounce and aggression to target Bangladesh’s weakness against pace.
No team will relish playing South Africa in a knockout match – if the pitch has spice no better attack to exploit it
— Tim Wigmore (@timwig) November 2, 2021
If Bangladesh thought they had any respite after Rabada’s spell, they had to face off against Anrich Nortje, who has been in a rich vein of form this tournament. Before this game, he had five wickets at an average of 12.4. His economy in these games was 5.16.
He first dismissed Mahmudullah, to leave Bangladesh reeling at 34-4 after eight overs. A bouncer caught the batter unaware, and the ball kissed his glove before flying off towards the point fielder.
Nortje would return to pick the last two wickets in the Bangladesh innings to bowl them all out for 84.
Someone hang that Nortje bouncer in a gallery asap. Absolute filth
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) November 2, 2021
SA all over Bangladesh as Nortje is too hot to handle for Mahmudullah!
— ThePoppingCrease (@PoppingCreaseSA) November 2, 2021
These performances saw a number of reactions across social media.
This is how to use Nortje and Rabada up top – no fancy stuff, hard lengths, high pace, blast blast blast. Thrilling fast bowling, those two are some sight bowling together. Pace like FIRE!#BANvSA🏏🇧🇩🇿🇦#T20WorldCup
— Nakul Pande (@NakulMPande) November 2, 2021
Rabada show in Abu Dhabi – 3 wickets in the space of five balls – Terrific powerplay for South Africa.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 2, 2021
Rabada is among wickets.
Bit by bit, South Africa are clawing back, on and off the field.
— Abhishek Mukherjee (@SachinAzharCT) (@ovshake42) November 2, 2021
— Biswajit (@dasbiswajit421) November 2, 2021
Kagiso Rabada on fire – 3 wickets in 15 balls by him. Bangladesh on backfoot with 3 down under powerplay.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) November 2, 2021