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Ashraful lights up Bangla revelry

April 8, 2007
Mohammad Ashraful cracked a stylish 87 from 83 balls to help Bangladesh post their highest World Cup total of 251 for eight in the Super Eights match against South Africa on Saturday.

Bangladesh went on to beat South Africa by 67 runs.

Ashraful scored 12 fours in an exciting and often improvised knock which gave his side a serious target to defend following a late-innings flurry.

Pace bowler Andre Nel marked his first match in three weeks with career-best figures of 5-45 after Bangladesh, put in to bat, had blunted the threat of opening pair Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini.

Ashraful, aged 22, continued the charge, reaching his half-century with a lofted drive for four off Ntini. Next ball he played a bizarre leg glance for another four after stepping a yard outside off stump.

He completed an expensive 44th over by cutting Ntini for a third boundary, as 15 came off it. Ntini conceded 28 runs from his last two overs.

Nel claimed his fourth and fifth wickets when he bowled Mushrafe Mortaza (25) and then had Ashraful caught at fine leg to his trademark flicked leg glance. Bangladesh scored 80 from the last 10 overs.

Photograph: Getty Images

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