World Cup Countdown: Spin-heavy Bangladesh slay another heavyweight in South Africa
Bangladesh beat South Africa by 67 runs in the 2007 World Cup. (Getty Images)

In the build-up to the 2019 ICC Cricket World CupCricketCountry brings to you the most memorable moments and matches from the tournament over the years – right from its first edition, way back in 1975. With 30 days to go, in our latest World Cup Countdown, we rewind to the day of one of Bangladesh‘s most memorable wins, when they slayed the mighty South Africa in 2007 and recorded one of the biggest upsets in the tournament.

If Bangladesh’s surprise win over India in the 2007 World Cup wasn’t enough to lift the spirits of the team from the sub-continent, they pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament when they slayed the mighty South Africa in the Super Eights. After Mohammad Ashraful had struck a violent 84, Bangladesh’s trio of left-arm spinners choked South Africa and registered a memorable 67-run triumph.

Bangladesh were coming off back-to-back heavy defeats. They had been mauled by Australia by 10 wickets and were ran roughshod by New Zealand, who cruised to a nine-wicket win. South Africa on the other hand, had scraped through against Sri Lanka after Lasith Malinga had struck four times in four balls and followed it with a convincing win over Ireland.

The only other time South Africa and Bangladesh had met in a World Cup was in the 2003 editions where the hosts had steamrolled the side from the subcontinent by nine wickets. On current form, no one gave Bangladesh a chance, barring just their players perhaps. Their top order had been reduced to 84 for 4 with only Tamim Iqbal contributing something significant. Enter Ashraful and the runs began to come smoothly.

Ashraful struck a delightful 87 at a strike-rate of over a 100 and with the help of 12 boundaries, and along with Aftab Ahmed’s gritty 35 and Mashrafe Mortaza’s plucky 25 off 16, took Bangladesh to a commendable 251 for 8 on a sluggish Providence surface. South Africa dearly missed having a spinner with only skipper Graeme Smith rolling his arm over for three overs of off-spin.

What South Africa missed however, Bangladesh did not. Their three-pronged spin attack comprising Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan tormented the South Africa batsmen on a surface assisting spin heavily. They combined to pick up six South African wickets with Razzak finishing best figures of 3 for 25. It was him who began the slide, getting AB de Villiers at the top before returning to wipe out the tail. At the other end, Rafique kept the leash on SA’s scoring while Shakib took out Justin Kemp and Mark Boucher.

Herschelle Gibbs was the only one who showed resilience by remaining unbeaten on 56 off 59 balls with one four and two sixes. But as he saw his partners perishing one by one, Bangladesh closed in. Shakib’s dismiss of Kemp is remembered more for his mode of celebration. Kemp tried to push the ball back and the allrounder flung himself across towards the non-striker Ashwell Prince, made the catch look ridiculously easy, and eventually emerged from between Prince’s legs.

Razzak completed the formality as Habibul Bashar and his men celebrated what is still considered one of the biggest cricketing upsets of all time.