South Africa defeated an inspired Netherlands by six runs in a nerve-wracking finish to keep their hopes alive of reaching the semifinals in a super 10 T20 match in Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium Chittagong on Thursday.

Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowler with 4/21 of his four overs followed by Dale Steyn who returned with figures of 2/19 as the Proteas managed to restrict Netherlands to 139.

For Netherlands, Stephan Myburgh was the top scorer with 51 runs.   

Earlier in the day, Netherlands fast bowler Ahsan Malik, who took 5/19, brought up his best bowling figures to help the Netherlands restrict South Africa to 145/9.

Riding on the back of Malik the Netherlands put in a much improved performance as compared to their dismal show couple of days back.

South Africa, after being invited to bat first, lost the wicket of opener Quinton de Kock (0) in the very first over.

Hashim Amla, who smashed seven boundaries and a six off 22 balls, was the top-scorer with 43, but Amla’s dismissal helped Netherlands keep the Proteas in check as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

Middle-order fell like nine pin as AB de Villiers (21), Faf du Plessis (24) and Jean-Paul Duminy (12) disappointed with the bat with South Africa scoring a modest 145/9.

Earlier at the toss, South Africa brought Hendricks in a like for like replacement for fast-bowler Morne Morkel. Morkel suffered a torrid time against New Zealand batsman on Monday.

The Netherlands, on the other hand, kept the same team which was smashed by Sri Lanka on Monday as the Dutch were bundled out for paltry total of 39.

Sri Lanka will play England later in the day in the next game on Thursday.

NETHERLANDS: SJ Myburgh, MR Swart, W Barresi (wk), TLW Cooper, BN Cooper, PW Borren (capt), Mudassar Bukhari, LV van Beek, T van der Gugten, PM Seelaar, MAA Jamil

SOUTH AFRICA: Q de Kock (wk), HM Amla, F du Plessis (capt), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, DA Miller, JA Morkel, DW Steyn, BE Hendricks, Imran TahirLL Tsotsobe