South Africa make a lot of runs, Bangladesh do not

Notes on another day of South Africa domination.

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South Africa lost some early wickets and then turned on the autopilot on their way towards 400. Not even Shakib Al Hasan’s comeback had any impact. QDK made as many runs as he could to ensure that he wasn’t going to have to keep, but Henrich Klaasen tried to make as many so he didn’t have to do it. Then Bangladesh’s top order, which is currently made of tissue paper, barely went out there. And Mahmudullah did what he does again, made hundreds at World Cups as South Africa for the third game bowled absolutely shithouse to the tail.

Quinton de Kock is pretty handy (SAK)

Quinton de Kock went past Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma & Muhammad Rizwan today. He became the first to reach 400 runs in this competition, and also the first with three 100s.

You could say that this is his best campaign for South Africa in a major tournament. He may not keep it up as high for as long. You could argue he did pretty well in both the Indian tournaments. He’s played a lot of IPL, maybe that’s why he feels comfortable playing there?

He is scoring a lot quicker against pace than he is against spin. We’ve seen this in the IPL and other T20 competitions. He did go after Mehidy early on, which was a little surprising because off-spin has been a weakness for him. He also attacked Shakib al Hasan at the death, not the time you would want a left-arm spinner to bowl to him.

This is his strike rate by phase. The reason why Bavuma and him start slow is because it’s part of a team plan. If they can be 45/0, 50/1 - around that sort of mark - it’s absolutely fine. He doesn’t explode in the middle as much as he could after a set start. Look at Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy traditionally - they would start fast but also they would try and capitalize in the middle.

Once de Kock gets around the 30-over mark, he would be around 80-100 runs and he can kick on. If he was playing in a different system, I think he would be a lot more aggressive than he is. But that’s not South Africa’s game plan.

He’s hit the 3rd most sixes in this tournament so far. He hits boundaries quite frequently compared to other openers. It is something I’ve noticed in his T20 game too, he is probably more interested in just looking for boundaries. Compare him to David Warner, who would also look to attack with his singles and doubles and look for boundaries. de Kock is looking for the balls that could get him boundaries. At times, that has got him in trouble. Certainly not now.

This is the thing we’re trying to say, at times in his limited-overs cricket, he can get a little bit stuck. But certainly not as much right now.

He has been a very efficient strike rotator too. The Netherlands one is interesting because Aryan Dutt opened the bowling. That’s one way to dot him up, we’ve seen teams in the IPL and SA20 opening with off-spin to negate his effect.

Are SA the best middle overs batting side while batting first? (SAK)

This is where England were so dominant in the last World Cup. They are still doing alright batting first, but the other teams are going absolutely ballistic in this tournament. I’ve written a lot about the Rassie-Markram-Klaasen-Miller core in the past. You shouldn’t be scoring at well over a run a ball and averaging nearly 80. They are setting above-par totals consistently because of this.

Phase-wise SR for SA in the last two World Cup cycles (SAK)

I think we’ve shown this in a couple of different ways earlier. South Africa started slow with a couple of early wickets today. They sped up in every 10-over block and then went for the kill at the death.

They have not been a lot different in the rest of the World Cup so far than they were today, maybe apart from losing a couple of early wickets.

This is them in the cycle overall. We see a similar pattern here too - conserving themselves at the top, scoring quickly in the middle without losing too many wickets, and then going hard at the end. India and England used to do the same thing in the previous cycle, they would look to go hard after the 35-over mark.

They are doing exactly what they did before, but just faster. I think that is absolutely incredible.

This is the previous cycle, from 2015-19. There isn’t a big step up in the middle, and I’m pretty sure that AB de Villiers also played in period. They had one of the most attacking players of all time, and you could see that they still didn’t cash in. A lot of the players are same, but they’ve improved a lot and are in their peak batting years at the moment.

The Fizz goes full (JK)

Full tosses can happen for a lot of reasons. But outside of the odd slower ball gone wrong, the vast majority are yorkers than don’t york. As Mustafizur Rahman has become less reliant on his slower ball, he’s gone to yorkers more. Which also means he delivers more full tosses. He has the second most in this tournament so far, Madushanka has two more. But unfortunately for him, he has a lot more runs from them. In fact, he has more runs than anyone.

And the reason I noticed them is they are above knee height. It’s a real issue, because below knee height the batter still has to try to get under them. Once they are high it’s just about swinging through the line. It’s not ideal.

But I also think that it shows he’s not the force he once was. In part because before his full tosses were hard to hit because they were often mixed up with slower balls. So a fast full toss from a left-hander can be hard to hit. But also you can see Mitchell Starc down at the other end. He’s faster and taller, but even his worst balls can be tough to get away. Where the Fizz can be found in the area with Bas de Leede.

Bangladesh bouncers (JK)

Teams have been bowling very short at Bangladesh this World Cup, and their batters are not handling it. At first, I looked at the back of a length as well, which they’ve had a lot of. But it’s the real short once they are struggling with.

They are the worst at facing short balls, and you can see it isn’t really all that close. In England, teams attacked them last time with the short ball as well. But in that tournament, they also won a game against West Indies when that happened. This time they have just all been dismissed.

Bangladesh starts (JK)

Bangladesh have started so many of their innings poorly with the bat, and no how much World  Cup specialist Mahmudullah tries to save them it is usually of no use.

They have lost an incredibly high amount of wickets in the first ten overs. This is obscene, they are just giving themselves no chance of winning matches by doing this. You don’t have to start fast to make lots of runs, but you do have to keep your batters. And they would currently be better if they just didn’t bat in the powerplay.

They have scored at five runs an over, so they are not going fast, but ofcourse. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to and losing wickets. But there is a clear difference between them and the Netherlands. The Dutch have clearly decided that being 40/1 is ok. Bangladesh are not feeling that.

Mahmudullah is the ICC king (JK)

The game was over, but when he came in, Mahmudullah was under pressure, and he took the game as deep as he could. But the weird thing is now that in 235 ODIs he has four hundreds, all of which are in the World Cup (3) and the Champions Trophy (1). When the ICC is paying the bills, there is simply no one better.

He was averaging 54 in World Cups, but we had to update the graph, it is now 58 at the World Cup. It's not bad for a player who started as a number seven this tournament. But to be fair, the Bangladesh top order have done everything they can to get him in early. Today he batted at six and was in at the 12th over.

What bowling is working best? (JK)

So we wanted to check out the economy rates of various bowling types this World Cup. Mostly to check to see if off-spin is doing as well as Maxwell and Nabi are making it feel.

Well, not quite, the most economical is left-arm wrist spin, though we can still throw that out as it’s basically two bowlers. But the other left-arm spin is still doing very well. But let’s factor out averages as well.

And you can see that really the most surprising thing here is the leggies. We see them get wickets in the IPL, but with players able to chip them around, they have been toothless in this tournament. The overall pattern is about the same as most tournaments the wrist spinners aside. Just the quicks haven’t dominated with the new ball as much, and the finger spinners have more wickets than usual with a lower economy.