Cricket World Cup 2019: Mushfiqur, Shakib power Bangladesh to record 330/6
Fifties from Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim set the base for Bangladesh (AFP Photo)

A combined batting display that included strokeful half-centuries from Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan saw Bangladesh post a record 330/6  – their highest ever total in ODI history – against South Africa in their ICC World Cup 2019 opener in Kennington Oval on Sunday.

Mushfiqur top-scored for Bangladesh, hitting 78 off 80 while Shakib scored 75 before a late blitz from lower middle-order pushed them to a challenging total.

The foundation for their record-breaking total was set early one with the opening pair, led by Soumya Sarkar (42) and Tamim Iqbal providing a rocket start after being put in to bat by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis. They were watchful initially before Sarkar broke the shackles with three fours in an over of Kagiso Rabada. They added a quick 60 runs between them before Andile Phehlukwayo provided the breakthrough, removing Tamim on 16.

Chris Morris then put a stop to Sarkar’s aggressive knock in his first over thanks to a diving catch from wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock. From there on, it was a one-way traffic as the pair of Shakib and Mushfiqur punished South Africa who had an uncharacteristically off-day on the field. SA’s problems were compounded by an injury concern to Lungi Ngidi who bowled just four wicketless overs in which he leaked 34 runs.

Shakib struck eight fours and a six while Mushfiqur belted eight fours during a partnership for the third wicket that was worth 142 runs. It was finally broken when legspinner Imran Tahir, playing in his 100th ODI, sneaked one past Shakib to have him bowled in the 36th over to bring some relief for South Africa. Mohammad Mithun struck two fours and a six but Tahir had him bowled to cut short his innings on 21. SA clawed their way back in the death overs and with Mushfiqur losing his wicket in the 43rd over, they would have hoped to limit the damage.

However, Mahmudullah (46* off 33)  and Mosaddek Hossain (26) poured cold water on their plans adding 66 runs in quick time. South Africa though had a chance to remove Mahmudullah early, batting on 12, but  for Rabada who dropped him near the boundary off Morris.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 330/6 (Mushfiqur Rahim 78, Shakib Al Hasan 75; Andile Phehlukwayo 2/52) vs South Africa