South Africa won the first T20 by 20 runs in a match where the Bangladeshis played well. The hosts won the toss and opted to bat first, scoring a mammoth 195-4 at the end of 20 overs. Bangladesh then scored 175 in their innings. With some grit from the middle order, they could have easily won the match despite the high target.
Once again, Bangladesh’s bowlers let them down after they failed to take wickets to subdue the Proteas’ batsmen. They do not possess the resources to bowl outside the subcontinent, a concerning predicament which needs to be addressed.
Their performance provides a glimmer of hope to any Bangladeshi fan following the series. Can they end the tour on a high?
Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Liton Das, Nasir Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shafiul Islam
Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy (c), Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, Mangaliso Mosehle, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Robert Frylinck, Dwaine Pretorius
Where the teams stand
With the pressure of a target like 196, Bangladesh reaching even 175 is an excellent outcome. Soumya Sarkar scored a valiant 47, and with some support, they could have taken Bangladesh over the line. Besides him, youngster Saifuddin also burdened some of the responsibility as he scored a quick 37* but it proved to be insufficient.
The bowlers have let their batsmen down all series, leading to a plethora of centuries being scored by the Proteas’ batsmen. Al Hasan made the mistake of taking the new ball and paid the price for it after his economy crossed nine in three overs. He also excluded Liton Das from the team who has been one of the few players on the tour that has shown any form of resilience against the South African attack.
Shakib and Mushfiqur are normally dependable in the middle order, but on the days they fail, the batting collapses. The bulk of the run scoring will have to be done by the top four, and if that happens, the Bangladeshis might just pull off something special.
As always, South Africa were clinical with the bat, but this time were under-par with the ball. They gave away a criminal amount of extras (14), including 13 wides. The bowlers took wickets at regular intervals but also allowed Bangladesh to reach a respectable total.
Phehlukwayo performed brilliantly in the match, taking three wickets while maintaining a tight economy. Hendricks, who was chosen over Paterson, also justified his inclusion. The rest were relatively expensive, something that needs correcting.
De Villiers has been on song for South Africa ever since he returned to the team, smashing a career-best 176 in the ODIs and a quick 49 in the T20 to show what the team has been missing all this while.
Arguably the best batsman in the world, De Villiers remains a key cog in his side’s batting lineup. When he is in form, there is little any bowling attack in the world can do to stop him. de Kock and Amla are other batsmen to watch out for in what promises to be another run fest.
South Africa is our pick to win and finish the two-match series at 2-0.
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