South Africa edged closer to a T20 World Cup semi-final spot thanks to a straightforward six-wicket victory over struggling Bangladesh on Tuesday.

Few gave Bangladesh any hope of picking up their first win following the loss of talisman Shakib Al Hasan and they folded without putting up much of a fight, South Africa comfortably reaching their target of 85.

After a somewhat slow start for the South African bowlers, they soon found their stride as Kagiso Rabada (3-20) made a real dent in Bangladesh's batting order.

Rabada took Mohammad Naim (9) and Soumya Sarkar (0) in consecutive deliveries in the fourth over and got his third wicket in the sixth, with Reeza Hendricks catching Mushfiqur Rahim (0).

Wickets continued to tumble, with Mahmudullah (3) and Afif Hossain (0) also joining their fallen team-mates back in the pavilion by the end of the ninth over.

Mahedi Hasan (27) and Liton Das (24) did their best to give Bangladesh a chance but otherwise only Shamim Hossain (11) even reached double figures and they were all out for 84 with eight balls left, Anrich Nortje (3-8) finishing them off with successive wickets.

The Proteas' chase did not get off to the greatest start as they lost Hendricks (4) lbw to the impressive Taskin Ahmed (2-18) on the sixth delivery, though they soon found something of a groove with four boundaries before losing their next wicket, Quinton de Kock (16), in the fifth over.

Aiden Markram's day then ended before it had barely started, the right-hander caught by Naim at wide slip for a duck, but Temba Bavuma (31 not out) stepped up and hit three fours and a single six as he top-scored.

Rassie van der Dussen's dismissal after 22 off 27 deliveries meant little in the grand scheme, as South Africa comfortably crossed the line with 39 balls remaining.

Victory keeps them in second place in Group 1 behind England with one match left, and with a superior run rate to Australia.

Rabada cadabra!

The wicket in Abu Dhabi always looked promising for seamers and Rabada was in fine form. Nortje got even better figures with the ball, but Rabada's work was decisive in truly dismantling Bangladesh nice and early.

He said: "That wicket favoured the seamers and I'm just glad that today was my day. Every time we have the opportunity to practice, we try and implement what could possibly work for us. We always train hard, and today it paid off. It's nice to see the ball swing, especially in T20 cricket, but it wasn't a surprise, having seen that happen in the IPL games here."

Ahmed a bright spark

Ahmed was one of few reasons for optimism for Bangladesh here. Overall, he has enjoyed a decent tournament and he kept South Africa's batsmen on their toes, impressing his captain.

Mahmudullah said: "That was a poor batting display but having said that there was enough assistance in the pitch. Taskin has been bowling well in this tournament. We had the choice between Taskin and Fizzy [Mustafizur Rahman], but we went with Taskin because he has been bowling well."

David Miller and Kagiso Rabada blasted South Africa to a dramatic four-wicket T20 World Cup win over Sri Lanka after Wanindu Hasaranga took a hat-trick at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The Proteas welcomed Quinton de Kock back into the side after he missed the win over West Indies on Tuesday following Cricket South Africa's decision that all Proteas players must take a knee prior to the remainder of their games in the tournament.

De Kock took the knee on Saturday in a united stance against racism before Sri Lanka were bowled out for 142 from their 20 overs in a Group 1 contest neither side could really afford to lose.

Pathum Nissanka made 72 off 58 balls, with the brilliant Tabraiz Shamsi and Dwaine Pretorius taking 3-17, while Anrich Nortje also impressed with figures of 2-27.

A fourth-wicket stand of 47 between captain Temba Bavuma (46) and Aiden Markram made it advantage South Africa, but Hasaranga (3-20) gave Sri Lanka the upper hand.

The spinner bowled Markram with the final ball of the 15th over and returned to dismiss Bavuma and Dwaine Pretorius at the start of the 18th – reducing the Proteas to 112-6 and completing his hat-trick.

South Africa needed 15 to win off the final over from Lahiru Kumara after Rabada had dispatched Dushmantha Chameera for a huge six and they got home with a ball to spare after Miller launched two maximums into the leg side.

The Proteas are on four points with two wins from three matches, while Sri Lanka are unlikely to qualify following their second loss.

 

Shamsi shows why he's number one

Shamsi showed how he has become the top-ranked T20 bowler in the world, dismissing Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Avishka Fernando caught and bowled as Sri Lanka lost wickets far too frequently.

The spinner, who has the most T20I wickets this year with 32 at an average of 13.62, bowled 13 dot balls and only conceded one boundary, also getting Hasaranga caught in the deep.

Pretorius and Nortje bowled superbly at the death, with only Nissanka ensuring Sri Lanka were able to make a significant total after clearing the rope three times and hitting six fours.

Miller time after Hasaranga heroics

The Proteas were in trouble on 26-2 after Chameera trapped Reeza Hendricks lbw before taking a catch off his own bowling to remove De Kock (12)

Bavuma led the recovery with a composed knock, but the craft of Hasaranga swung the game in Sri Lanka's favour.

Rabada flexed his muscles with a huge six off the penultimate over and struck a four to win over the powerful Miller middled two full deliveries from Kumara out of the ground.

Quinton de Kock took the knee before making his South Africa return in the T20 World Cup match against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

De Kock issued an apology after deciding against playing in the win over West Indies at Dubai International Stadium.

The wicketkeeper-batsman ruled himself out of that match following Cricket South Africa's decision that all Proteas must take a knee prior to the remainder of their games in the tournament.

De Kock has previously declined to make the gesture, but stated on Thursday he would take the knee and was "deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger" he had caused.

The 28-year-old said he was deeply hurt by being called a racist because of a misunderstanding.

De Kock was back in the team for the Group 1 showdown with Sri Lanka at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, replacing Heinrich Klaasen.

The former Proteas captain joined his team-mates by making the anti-racism gesture of taking the knee after Temba Bavuma won the toss and chose to field.

West Indies great Michael Holding is hoping Quinton de Kock recognises he made a "silly, dumb mistake" after refusing to take the knee at the T20 World Cup.

South Africa were without talismanic wicketkeeper De Kock for Tuesday's clash with West Indies after he refused to play for "personal reasons".

Cricket South Africa (CSA) later confirmed De Kock was absent for the Group 1 Super 12 match in Dubai due to his refusal of a board directive to take the knee, which has become a gesture of support and unity in the fight against racism.

De Kock issued an emotional statement on Thursday after productive talks with CSA as he promised to take the knee from now on, saying he was "deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused".

Holding, who has regularly spoken about the need to combat racism, expressed his hope that De Kock will learn from the episode and deliver on his promise going forward.

 

"I don't know him well enough to say that what he did he meant," Holding told Stats Perform, when asked about De Kock's initial decision.

"What I am hoping is that he recognises he made a silly, dumb mistake by sticking to his principle of not taking the knee.

"If you believe in a cause, you do what everyone else is doing to support that cause. You don't automatically find your own way to support that cause because then no one will know you support it."

In the wake of George Floyd's death last year, Holding spoke powerfully about combatting racism, and his book Why We Kneel, How We Rise has been nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2021 award.

"The worldwide accepted gesture for supporting Black Lives Matter and believing everyone's life is equal is to take the knee," Holding said.

"You don't say, I'm not going to do what everybody else in the world recognises as the way forward, that's not the way it works.

"You do what is accepted as the norm, the way that everyone has seen as the gesture to support the movement and that's all I'll say on the matter.

"If he can't understand that then I can't help him understand but one would hope, as I say, he just made a silly mistake and he now understands the reason behind it – if not, then I'll send him a copy of my book!"

It remains unclear whether De Kock will return to the Proteas side, who face Sri Lanka in their next group game on Saturday.

Quinton De Kock has apologised to his South Africa team-mates for refusing to take the knee and says he will now make the anti-racism gesture ahead of future matches.

South Africa were without their talismanic wicketkeeper-batsman for Tuesday's T20 World Cup opener with West Indies after he pulled out for "personal reasons".

That came after Cricket South Africa (CSA) agreed all Proteas should take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

CSA later confirmed De Kock was absent for the Group 1 match at Dubai International Stadium because of his refusal to follow the directive.

South Africa captain Bavuma said he was "taken aback" by De Kock's stance.

But De Kock has now attempted to resolve the row by releasing a wide-ranging statement following "emotional" talks with the CSA board on Wednesday.

"I would like to start by saying sorry to my team-mates, and the fans back home," the statement, released via CSA on Thursday, read.

"I never ever wanted to make this a Quinton issue. I understand the importance of standing against racism and the responsibility of us as players to set an example. 

"If me taking a knee helps to educate others, and makes the lives of others better, I am more than happy to do so. I did not, in any way, mean to disrespect anyone by not playing against West Indies, especially the West Indian team themselves. 

"Maybe some people don't understand that we were just hit with this on Tuesday morning, on the way to a game. I am deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused."

De Kock has previously been quiet on his decision to not show support for the anti-racism gesture, but he has now explained his reasons why.
 
"For those who don't know, I come from a mixed race family. My half-sisters are coloured and my step mom is black," he said.

"For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement. 

"The rights and equality of all people is more important than any individual. I was raised to understand that we all have rights, and they are important. 

"I felt like my rights were taken away when I was told what we had to do in the way that we were told. 

"Since our chat with the board last night, which was very emotional, I think we all have a better understanding of their intentions as well."

He added: "I wish this had happened sooner, because what happened on match day could have been avoided. I know I have an example to set. We were previously told we had the choice to do what we felt we wanted to do.

"I chose to keep my thoughts to myself, and thought of the pride of playing for my family and my country. I didn't understand why I had to prove it with a gesture, when I live and learn and love people from all walks of life every day. 

"When you are told what to do, with no discussion, I felt like it takes away the meaning. If I was racist, I could easily have taken the knee and lied, which is wrong and doesn’t build a better society.  

"Those who have grown up with me and played with me, know what type of person I am. I've been called a lot of things as a cricketer. Doff. Stupid. Selfish. Immature. But those didn't hurt.

"Being called a racist because of a misunderstanding hurts me deeply. It hurts my family. It hurts my pregnant wife. I am not a racist. In my heart of hearts, I know that. And I think those who know me know that. 

"I know I'm not great with words, but I've tried my best to explain how truly sorry I am for making like this is about me. It is not.

"I won't lie, I was shocked that we were told on the way to an important match that there was an instruction that we had to follow, with a perceived 'or else'. 

"I don't think I was the only one. We had camps. We had sessions. We had Zoom meetings. We know where we all stand. And that is together. 

"I love every one of my team-mates, and I love nothing more than playing cricket for South Africa. I think it would have been better for everyone concerned if we had sorted this out before the tournament started.

"Then we could have focused on our job, to win cricket matches for our country. There always seems to be a drama when we go to World Cups. That isn't fair."

De Kock concluded his statement by praising the leadership of Bavuma, who is South Africa's first permanent black captain.

"I just want to thank my team-mates for their support, especially my captain, Temba," he said. "People might not recognise, but he is a flipping amazing leader. 

"If he and the team, and South Africa, will have me, I would love nothing more than to play cricket for my country again."

Legendary West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has questioned the team’s level of planning, particularly when it comes to its batting line-up on the back of two dismal performances to start the T20 World Cup.

The defending champions have been handed back-to-back losses at the hand of England and then South Africa.  Both losses were underpinned by underwhelming performances at the crease, which first saw the West Indies dismissed for 55 and then in the second match collapsed to 143 for 8 all-out after a promising start at 73 for 1.

Following its substandard showing against England, the team tinkered with its batting line-up promoting Nicholas Pooran up the order while pushing Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer further down.

“I think the planning season to be all over the place,” Lloyd said in assessing the team’s performances thus far, on the Mason and Guest radio program.

“I think if you look at what has happened.  Fifty-five runs, we are much better than that.  Our planning seems to be terrible. (Against South Africa) We had a wonderful start, and we didn’t promote people in the proper order,” he added.

“You expect the captain to come up when you are going at 9 an over, to continue, but you send Pooran who hasn’t been batting well and you have Hetmyer who has been batting well and making very good scores.  So, the batting order seems to be all over the place.”

Lloyd believes that for the team to be successful someone has to take control of the batting order.

“At one stage the prediction was 174 and we were down to so, but somewhere along the line, we feel like this game is about hitting sixes.  We are getting caught on the boundary, it’s a big ground.  If I’m at 58, I’m looking to get to 80 or 90, get more runs and take the game away from the opposition.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has not given up hope on the team advancing to the T20 World Cup semi-finals but has called on the unit to dig deep following a horrendous start to the tournament.

The Caribbean team, who are the defending champions, was routed by England in the first match where they lost by six wickets after being bowled out for 55.  In the second encounter against South Africa, on Tuesday. after a promising start the team was dismissed for a subpar 143, which the Proteas easily chased down to win by 8 wickets.

The loss leave the West Indies rooted at the bottom of the six-team table, with a net run rate of -2.550.  With only the top two teams set to advance to the final four, the Windies are already facing an uphill battle to move on to the next round.  

“Well, we just have to do what it takes,” a dejected Pollard said following the team’s loss to South Africa.

“We have to dig deeper as a team. We have to dig deeper as a batting unit,” he added.

“We have to get wins on the board now. We’ve put ourselves in a position whereas from a run rate perspective that’s pretty low, and from a win percentage we haven’t won any games.

“So we have to win the next three games. We just have to take it one at a time and try to improve each and every time.”

The West Indies will next face Bangladesh on Friday at 5:00 am.

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard did not speculate on Quinton de Kock's refusal to take the knee, but suggested education is a major issue when it comes to the gesture.

South Africa were without their talismanic wicketkeeper-batsman for Tuesday's T20 World Cup match, which they still won despite De Kock's absence.

The Cricket South Africa (CSA) board on Monday decided that all players must take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

De Kock has previously declined to make the gesture and opted not to play against the Windies at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday following the demand from CSA.

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma said South Africa players were "taken aback" by De Kock's decision, with the batsman unsure whether the former skipper will play any further part in the World Cup.

Asked about the incident following the Windies' eight-wicket defeat, Bavuma's opposite number Pollard told reporters: "Me personally, I don't know of any player who didn't want to take it. I'm not aware of that.

"So this is sort of news to us or to me. But you know, you guys know our thoughts on this matter. It's something that we feel strongly about as a team and as a people, as well, and we will continue to do it.

"Each and everyone has their own opinions on it, but as I've always said, once you're educated, and you understand, we will understand you doing it, but I think education sort of is the key, and we don't want anyone doing it for us in solitude or to feel sorry for us.

"I'm not aware of which individual you speak about, but I'm guessing afterwards someone will increase my knowledge capacity on what actually transpired."

Pollard was then informed it was De Kock who had withdrawn his participation in the game and was asked if he believes conversations should be held with the South Africa star to educate him on the issue.

"Again, I can't speak on something that I don't know," Pollard replied. "I guess you guys know more than me.

"If I sit here, I'm going to speculate as to what actually transpired in all honesty. Again, if it's an educational thing, I guess then there's persons are wrong to educate.

"I don't think it's my job at this present time to educate. I think I have a lot more on my plate in terms of leading our team, and we're in a position where we need to win cricket games. I don't think that's my forte at the minute."

Pollard hit three boundaries, including a six, in a knock of 26 from 20 deliveries against South Africa, as well as going for nine off the only over he bowled as holders the Windies slumped to a second defeat of the Super 12 after their capitulation against England.

Temba Bavuma says South Africa players were "taken aback" that Quinton de Kock refused an order to take the knee and made himself unavailable to face West Indies in the T20 World Cup.

The Cricket South Africa (CSA) board on Monday decided that all players must take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

De Kock has previously declined to make the gesture and opted not to play against the Windies at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday following the demand from CSA.

Proteas captain Bavuma revealed he was only told wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock would be absent for the eight-wicket victory over the defending champions in the changing room beforehand and was surprised by his decision.

The batsman is unsure whether former captain De Kock will play any further part in the tournament.

He said in a news conference: "I think obviously as a team we're obviously surprised and taken aback by the news.

"Obviously Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat, but the role he plays from a senior point of view and from an experience point of view, and not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously something I wasn't looking forward to.

"In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He's a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions. I know that he'll be standing behind whatever decision that he's taken.

"From the team's point of view, unfortunately we still have to get the job done. There was still a game of cricket there for our country, and it was important, as much as everything was happening, that we found a way to get into the right mental space and take it home for our country.

"I don't know how far it's going to develop. I mean, the decision that he's taken is only today, so I can only speak about what has happened today. It wouldn't be my decision whether to replace Quinton or to get a substitute. That would be probably the coach and the selectors.

"But as far as we stand, Quinton is still one of the players. He's still one of the boys, so whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder that he requires from his team-mates, we'll be there for him.

"If there's a need for further conversations to be had, I'm sure those will definitely happen amongst the guys."

Jos Buttler promised England would take a united stand against racism before their T20 World Cup match against Bangladesh – after South Africa's Quinton de Kock refused to take the knee.

De Kock was conspicuous by his absence from South Africa's team for their victory against West Indies.

An initial announcement that he missed the game for personal reasons was followed by a fuller explanation, after it became abundantly clear why De Kock was playing no part.

Cricket South Africa had ordered their players to take the knee before the remainder of their games in the tournament, and such a demand did not sit right with the wicketkeeper-batsman. South Africa said the 28-year-old made himself unavailable.

The anti-racism gesture, linked to the Black Lives Matter movement, is one the England team have embraced previously, and Buttler said there would be a team-wide message sent out ahead of their next match too.

Asked about the De Kock situation, and whether England would be taking a knee on Wednesday, Buttler told a news conference: "Yeah, I think our position as a team is we stand against any form of discrimination.

"What we would like to do as a team is take a moment of unity which we did at times during our summer. We all need to reciprocate the opposition. West Indies like to take a knee, so we wanted to reciprocate that in the first game.

"But yeah, hopefully we can make some form at the start. But as a side and our culture as a team, we of course stand against any form of discrimination, and we are very passionate about that."

There is no suggestion De Kock has taken his stance for any reason other than believing there should be a right to choose how and when to oppose racism. He has in the past refused to take the knee, saying the reason for doing so was "my own personal opinion". He may be asked to expand on that in light of being absent from Tuesday's World Cup game.

Buttler was asked whether it was the job of cricket boards to impose such demands on players, and said: "I'm not sure, to be honest. I can only speak about myself and our team. I think it's something we feel strongly about. It's an important part of our culture as a team, and that's all I can say on that."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said on Twitter that it should be "down to the individual" and that a player should not be kept out of games for refusing to engage with such movements.

Whether England take the knee or not against Bangladesh may depend on what stance the opposition consider most appropriate.

Asked whether he knew exactly what gesture England would make, Buttler said: "No, I don't. I think it's something we'd like to do as a team. I think you have to get some clearance from the ICC [International Cricket Council] for that, as well.

"It's something we would like to do as a team, but I don't know the specifics behind it at the moment."

Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen sealed an eight-wicket T20 World Cup for South Africa over holders West Indies in the absence of Quinton de Kock.

There was drama before a ball was bowled at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday, as De Kock made himself unavailable for selection after refusing a Cricket South Africa demand for all Proteas players to take a knee before the rest of their games in the tournament.

South Africa secured their first Group 1 win, following a loss to Australia in their opening match, as they chased down a target of 144 with 10 balls to spare.

West Indies were embarrassingly bowled out for 55 in a crushing loss to England in their first game, but this time they posted 143-8 after being put in by Temba Bavuma.

Evin Lewis top-scored with an explosive 56 from 35 balls, with Dwaine Pretorius taking 3-17 and Keshav Maharaj 2-24 as Kieron Pollard's side lost their way in the second half of their innings.

Reeza Hendricks (39) laid a platform for South Africa after Bavuma was run out by a direct hit from Andre Russell in the first over.

Markram (51 not out from 26 balls) and Van der Dussen (43 from 51) then combined for an unbroken third-wicket stand of 83 to get the Proteas up and running in the Super 12 stage.

West Indies have lost three consecutive T20I matches and face a major battle to qualify for the semi-finals of a tournament they won five years ago.

Lewis lays platform as Simmons struggles

There were two contrasting innings from the defending champions' openers, with Lewis in great touch and Lendl Simmons struggling.

Simmons laboured to 16 from 35 balls after he was dropped by stand-in keeper Heinrich Klaasen on four, failing to score a boundary.

Lewis, on the other hand, raced to a half-century in 32 balls, clearing the rope six times before he was caught in the deep by Kagiso Rabada off Maharaj. Pollard made a quickfire 26 before a flurry of late wickets fell in the Windies innings.

 

Aiden makes his Mark along with ice-cool Van der Dussen

Markram and Van der Dussen provided an exhibition of how to go about a run chase as West Indies ran out of ideas.

Akeal Hosein (1-27) was the only Windies bowler to take a wicket thanks to a great diving catch from Shimron Hetmyer to see the back of Hendricks.

Markram played the role of aggressor, hitting four sixes, while the composed Van der Dussen ticked along nicely as South Africa cruised home amid huge doubts over whether De Kock will play any further part in the World Cup.

South Africa's Quinton de Kock opted out of Tuesday's T20 World Cup game against West Indies as he refused to take the knee.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) initially revealed De Kock was unavailable for South Africa's Group 1 match at Dubai International Stadium for "personal reasons".

That came after the CSA board on Monday came to an agreement that all Proteas should take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

Some players had not taken the knee prior to the loss to Australia on Saturday, and wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock has previously declined to make the gesture.

CSA has now confirmed former captain De Kock refused to go along with the order.

A CSA statement said: "Cricket South Africa has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to take the knee ahead of Tuesday's game against the West Indies.

"All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA board on Monday evening, to take the knee in a united and consistent stance against racism

"This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power of sport to bring people together.

"After considering all relevant issues, including the freedom of choice of players, the board had made it clear it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a stand against racism, especially given SA's history.

"The board's view was that while diversity can and should find expression in many facets of daily lives, this did not apply when it came to taking a stand against racism. The board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps.

"All players are expected to follow this directive for the remaining games of the World Cup. CSA thanks all other Proteas players for agreeing to unite and make such an important public stand against racism."

CSA board chair Lawson Naidoo earlier stated: "A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us.

"Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism."

Quinton de Kock sat out South Africa's T20 World Cup match against West Indies on Tuesday for personal reasons.

De Kock played in the Proteas' defeat to Australia in their first match of the tournament on Saturday, but he made himself unavailable for the latest Group 1 Super 12 showdown at Dubai International Stadium.

Heinrich Klaasen took the gloves in the absence of wicketkeeper-batsman De Kock.

The board of Cricket South Africa (CSA) earlier issued a directive requiring all Proteas players to take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

That decision was made on Monday after some players had not taken the knee prior to the loss to Australia.

De Kock has previously declined to take the knee before matches. South Africa did not indicate whether his absence on this occasion was linked to the new instruction to the team.

A CSA statement on the directive read: "Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM [Black Lives Matter] initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative.

"After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given SA's history. Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the board felt it is time for all SA players to do the same."

CSA board chair Lawson Naidoo said: "A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us.

"Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism."

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma insisted there were positives to take from his team's opening defeat to Australia at the T20 World Cup.

The Proteas fell to a five-wicket defeat in the first match of the Super 12 in Abu Dhabi, marking a reversal in the two teams' fortunes in the shortest format.

Bavuma's men went into the tournament having won each of their last three T20I series for the loss of just two matches.

By contrast, Australia have tasted defeat in their last five series.

But Aaron Finch's side had little difficulty chasing down a target of 119 as South Africa were left to rue a disappointing batting performance.

A series of timely boundaries from Marcus Stoinis got Australia over the line, but Bavuma was at least pleased with the spirit his team displayed in taking the contest to the last over.

"We always talk about us being resilient and there was an opportunity," Bavuma said.

"Big effort from the guys to get us to the last over. We just didn't get enough with the bat and it was always going to be tough for the bowlers, and it was a good effort from them to get it to this stage.

"As much as it was a day that didn't go to plan, we can take positives. We showed fight. We spoke during the half-time that we won't give up."

South Africa will look to bounce back against West Indies on Tuesday.

Australia turned the formbook on its head to start the T20 World Cup Super 12 stage with a five-wicket victory over South Africa.

South Africa have lost just two matches across their three T20I series in 2021, while Australia have suffered defeat in each of their past five series.

But Australia's decision to put the Proteas in to bat proved an astute one, Josh Hazlewood (2-19) leading a seam attack that got plenty out of the pitch while spinner Adam Zampa took 2-21.

Aiden Markram (40) provided the most substantial contribution to South Africa's underwhelming 118-9 and it was he who set in motion an unexpected fightback that brought a tense finish.

Despite losing Aaron Finch (0) and David Warner (14) early, Australia looked to be cruising at 80-3, however, Markram's magnificent diving catch broke Steve Smith (35) and Glenn Maxwell's (18) partnership by removing the former.

Tabraiz Shamsi then bowled Maxwell for his 50th T20I wicket three balls later to give South Africa further hope, but timely boundaries from Marcus Stoinis (24 not out) got Australia over the line with two balls to spare and off the mark in Group 1.

 

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