Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh, South Africa, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe believes the Tigers are still seen as minnows by most of the cricket world, but he claims they are now strong enough that wins over teams such as South Africa shouldn’t be seen as an upset anymore. @AFP

Mashrafe Mortaza hopes Bangladesh have earned respect with their impressive 21-run win over beleaguered South Africa in their World Cup opener on Sunday.

Mashrafe’s side posted 330 for six as Mushfiqur Rahim (78) and Shakib Al Hasan (75) laid the foundations of their impressive display at the Oval.

Mahmudullah’s boisterous 46 not out from 33 balls pushed Bangladesh past their previous highest one-day international total of 329 for six against Pakistan in 2015.

Attempting to become the first team to successfully chase more than 330 to win a World Cup match, South Africa fell short at 309 for eight. (ALSO READ: Cricket World Cup 2019: Shakib, Mashrafe cherish Bangladesh win, Faf admits South Africa lacked skills)

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis scored 62 from 53 balls, but Bangladesh seamer Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets and economical spinners Shakib and Mehidy Hasan wrapped up a memorable victory.

‘Do you think this was a surprise?’:

After reaching the World Cup quarter-finals in 2015, Bangladesh again look capable of shaking up cricket’s established order, to the delight of their army of vociferous supporters who packed the Oval.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe believes the Tigers are still seen as minnows by most of the cricket world, but he claims they are now strong enough that wins over teams such as South Africa shouldn’t be seen as an upset anymore.

Asked if this was a sign of Bangladesh’s development, the skipper replied: “Do you think this was a surprise? If we can deliver our best we knew what we could do.

“I’m sure some people don’t think well of our cricket. We are concentrating on our game and let other people talk.

“We have played well in a few matches before at the World Cup. I don’t think this is our best result, but it’s one of the best. (ALSO READ: Cricket World Cup 2019: South Africa are just off in all facets and it’s not good enough, says ‘gutted’ Faf du Plessis)

“We played so well, especially in England where the conditions don’t favour us. I’m sure it won’t happen every day but I love to play this way.”

In contrast, South Africa are in turmoil after Du Plessis’ decision to bowl first backfired despite two wickets from veteran spinner Imran Tahir in his 100th ODI appearance.

With the World Cup just four days old, they have already lost twice in south London — this disappointing performance following their 104-run thrashing by hosts England.

South Africa, who have never won the World Cup, are left with little margin for error in the rest of the 10-team round-robin group stage.

It won’t get any easier for the Proteas in their next match when they face title contenders India on Wednesday.