Bangladesh unsurprisingly succumbed to another big loss against South Africa in the first ODI. They lost by a full 10 wickets after the Proteas’ opening batsmen chased down 279 with 7 overs to spare.
The visitors did well to score 278 in the first place, but the bowling failed their batsmen. They were without star paceman Mustafizur Rahman, who was ruled out due to injury, and the rest failed to trouble Amla or De Kock, both of whom scored centuries.
All said and done, it could have been a lot worse for the Bangladeshis, but that is no consolation. Is there any hope for the minnows?
Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan
Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada
Where the Teams Stand
Riding on Rahim’s 110, the Bangladeshis somehow reached 278 in the first innings, an encouraging sign given that all of their top six got off to a good start, but failed to convert their starts into big scores. All of them crossed 20, except Sabbir who made 19. If even one of them had accompanied Rahim on his way to a big score, the Bangladeshis could have easily scored much more.
However, with the way they bowled, they might as well set 350 as their minimum target. To take no wickets after 43 overs of bowling is abominable, and it does not get much worse. Then again, every time one says that about Bangladesh, they surprise you. Rahman should be fit for the second ODI, helping their cause, but again, there’s only so much he can do. Captain Mortaza has a right to be angry with his teams “insipid” bowling, but he did not help them much through his spell.
The team does not have much choice besides continuing to put up a convincing performance in both departments. The bowl first, try to bowl well, chase mantra is their best course of action for now. They will be happy to take a solitary win home if they can manage even that.
It is easy to look at the scorecard and admonish the Bangladeshi bowling, but the Proteas must be wary of something. While it is commendable that they need only two batsmen for a 250+ run chase, they must be prepared for times when the top two or three fail. It is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when you’re dominating another side this convincingly, and it makes any potential off day worse.
The bowling could do with some work. They struggled a little without their spearhead, Morne Morkel, who is out with injury. Paterson was expensive with an economy of 7.67, while Phehlukwayo ended with 6.00, a touch above the median. Rabada continued his good work from the Tests, taking 4 wickets. Pretorius contributed with 2 wickets himself. Bangladesh should not have scored 278 given the way the innings proceeded, but South Africa have been excellent with the ball in the series so far, and they can be expected to fare better in the next match.
Given how they have been playing, it might be a good idea to give Bavuma a chance to prove himself in the ODI circuit in place of David Miller, who has been ordinary recently. Bavuma had a good run in the Tests and looks set to do well if given a chance in the shorter format. The Proteas are bound to be in total control of the second ODI as well.
South Africa win.
Can Bangladesh cause an upset in the second match, or will South Africa continue their dominance? Let us know in the comments below.
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