Abject Proteas' poor tour continues
South Africa's abject showing in Zimbabwe continued on Friday as they lost by three wickets to Bangladesh, just two days after losing to the series hosts, thus potentially missing out on Sunday's final.
If the Proteas do not beat Zimbabwe in their final game on Saturday, they will miss the final, which will be galling to coach Gary Kirsten, who was using this tournament, unofficial as it may be, to feel out the side ahead of the World Twenty20 in September.
At one stage it looked as though Bangladesh would ease home, needing five runs from 13 balls, but some tight bowling and late wickets made them work hard for their victory as they scored 132 for seven.
The win almost didn't come though, as Chris Morris took a wicket in the final over, before some superb fielding by Colin Ingram put the nerves on edge. But Ziaur Rahman, on 27 not out in the end, made sure and hit a boundary to seal the win.
The Proteas won the toss and batted first, but failed to put together a meaningful score and recorded a below-par 129 for seven in their 20 overs, with only Justin Ontong (41) making a decent contribution.
While the pitch may have been slow, the Bangladeshi batsmen did well to chase down the total with one ball to spare, with Mohammad Ashraful again leading the charge with 40 runs, before being dismissed by Albie Morkel.
As was the case against Zimbabwe, the Proteas lacked intensity, and only in the dying moments did they look like they actually wanted to win the match. The batting lacked concentration, and the wickets fell easily, not due to excellent bowling.
As has been the case all week, Marchant de Lange and Wayne Parnell, while taking some wickets, where wayward and wasteful, and gave away no-balls at crucial times. South Africa could have had a chance of winning the game, but Parnell's wicket-taking delivery at the death was a no-ball by nearly an entire boot-length.
As it stands, both Zim and Bangladesh are above the second-ranked ODI side on the planet, both having won two games to South Africa's one.