Bangladesh looks to pull level against rampaging South Africa

18 October, 2017 2:05:00

When Bangladesh takes on South Africa in the second of three One-Day Internationals at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday (October 18), it will do so with the knowledge that it has to play at a level or two higher than it has so far on what has been a luckless tour.

South Africa is ranked No. 2 in the ICC Test rankings and Bangladesh No. 9, and the gap between the two teams – especially in South African conditions – was reflected in the result: A 2-0 sweep with wins by 333 runs and an innings and 254 runs. Then, in the first ODI, the total of 278 for 7 would have made Bangladesh feel confident at the halfway stage. But by the time Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla were done stroking their way to unbeaten centuries, South Africa had scripted a 10-wicket win, overhauling the seemingly steep target in just 42.5 overs.

De Kock scored 168 in 145 balls and Amla 110 in 112 balls and made sure that Bangladesh’s highest ODI score against the home side as well as Mushfiqur Rahim’s century – 110 not out, the first by a Bangladeshi against South Africa – went in vain.

At no point did the bowling attack of Rubel Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin and Shakib Al Hasan, who made a low-key comeback after skipping the Test series, look threatening enough. And, to make the latest reversal worse for it, Rahim appeared to pick up a hamstring injury while batting and watched the de Kock-Amla carnage from the dressing room.

Bangladesh, already without Tamim Iqbal, its best batsman, and Mustafizur Rahman, its best limited-overs pacer, because of injuries, will be desperate to field Rahim in Paarl as it hopes to pull off a rare win and keep the series alive.

Hashim Amla's century came off 99 balls and remained unbeaten on 110 off 112 balls.

There wasn’t much wrong with South Africa’s performance, with Kagiso Rabada, Bangladesh’s tormentor in the Tests, picking up four wickets and Dwaine Pretorius returning two. Dane Paterson was on the expensive side all right, but seeing that it was his ODI debut, the team management shouldn’t worry too much. Source: ICC

The South Africans announced on Tuesday that Wayne Parnell, who sat out the first ODI because of a groin strain, had been ruled out of the series and Wiaan Mulder, the 19-year-old fast-bowling all-rounder, had taken his place.

Given how things have unfolded so far, South Africa looks much stronger than Bangladesh, but the visiting side has made a name for punching above its weight in recent times. If Shakib, the outstanding player in the team, can lead a revival of sorts, it’s not inconceivable that when the series reaches Buffalo Park in East London for the final game, it will be the decisive exchange.

Teams (from)
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada.

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Imrul Kayes, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed.

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