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Cricket World Cup 2023: Quinton de Kock hits 174 in South Africa’s big win over Bangladesh

ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Mumbai:
South Africa 382-5 (50 overs): De Kock 174 (140), Klaasen 90 (49), Markram 60 (69)
Bangladesh 233 (46.4 overs): Mahmudullah 111 (111); Coetzee 3-62, Jansen 2-39
South Africa won by 149 runs
Scorecard. Table

Quinton de Kock hit a stunning 174 as South Africa trounced Bangladesh by 149 runs on the back of another blistering batting display in Mumbai.

De Kock’s century, his third of this World Cup and the highest score of the tournament so far, set the Proteas on their way to a commanding 382-5.

Heinrich Klaasen backed up his century against England with a similarly destructive 90 from 49 balls.

In reply, Bangladesh were 233 all out, despite Mahmudullah’s defiant century.

Having chosen to bat first, South Africa were reduced to 36-2 in the powerplay but a 131-run partnership between De Kock and Aiden Markram, who made 60, put them back in the ascendency and set up another spectacular end to an innings.

De Kock had been relatively restrained in taking 101 balls to bring up his 20th one-day international hundred, but went into overdrive after reaching three figures, peppering the boundary to add a further 74 runs from 39 balls.

By the time he departed, Klaasen was well set and happily took over, smashing eight sixes in his latest power-hitting masterclass, with David Miller bludgeoning an unbeaten 15-ball 34 to end the innings.

Faced with a World Cup record chase, Bangladesh were soon in trouble.

Two wickets in two balls for Marco Jansen started the top-order collapse before Lizaad Williams, Gerald Coetzee and Kagiso Rabada accounted for Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das respectively to leave the Tigers 58-5.

There was to be no quick finish, though, as Mahmudullah showed great resolve and shepherded the lower order well to spare Bangladesh the ignominy of a record World Cup defeat that was looming at one stage.

With the result long since decided, the 37-year-old pushed on in the latter part of the innings to bring up his fourth ODI century from 104 balls before holing out for 111.

Victory lifts South Africa to second in the table, two points behind leaders India, while Bangladesh drop to the bottom, below England, on net run-rate.

Proteas power to another comfortable win

South Africa’s batting might was no secret coming into this tournament.

What remained to be seen was whether they could maintain the same brutal, unbridled approach when faced with the added pressure and scrutiny a World Cup provides.

Five games in and the Proteas have answered that emphatically.

Bangladesh’s bowlers are the latest to suffer at the hands of a rampant top six that almost lull the opposition into a false sense of security with 35 overs of measured aggression before tearing them apart for the last 15.

De Kock was the embodiment of that approach at the Wankhede Stadium, largely waiting on the bad balls until he reached his ton, before successfully adopting an everything-must-go approach thereafter.

The 30-year-old is in the form of his life in 50-over cricket in his final tournament before retiring from the format and a fairytale finish in the final at Ahmedabad on 19 November remains a realistic possibility.

South Africa’s history of failing to deliver under pressure in World Cups is infamous and their shock defeat by the Netherlands was a reminder of how even the most dominant side can come unstuck on any given day.

The pressure will only increase as the tournament progresses, but with every game that goes by, the more De Kock, Klaasen and co look capable of carrying the Proteas to something special.

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