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SA v BAN, 1st T20I Review: Bangladesh offers a fight, but it is not enough to stop South African ruination

Bangladeshi innings finished on 175 and the away side fell 21 runs short of the target.

AB de Villiers South Africa
AB de Villiers of South Africa bats during the first T20I between South Africa & Bangladesh. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“What’s so special about a victory? It’s just another day at the office”. Well, the South African supporters are not to be blamed for their inability find anything special in a victory, as they have turned it into a habit. The roar of the Bangladeshi Tigers was reduced to groan yet again by the home team. Had there been a word invented for those who are more ruthless than the most ruthless, it would have been applicable for this South African team. In absence of skipper Faf du Plessis, who is missing out due to a back injury, JP Duminy’s team mauled the Tigers who now are desperate to get out of the African wild.

Winning the toss, Duminy followed the path of the regular skipper. The condition of Bangladeshi bowlers at this very moment is like that of a caged animal, desperate to go back to their natural habitat. Unfortunately for them, they will have to play another T20I match before they can return back to their homeland. Protean batters continued their ruthless approach, as the home side accumulated 195 runs in 20 overs.

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AB on fire again

The beginning of the innings wasn’t good for Duminy’s men, as Hashim Amla, the in-form batter who returned after his short sabbatical, perished after just scoring 3 runs. Mehidy Hasan might have given a ray of hope to the Bangladeshi loyalists, but that was diminished considerably by Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers. While the wicket-keeper played a more composed inning, if 59 runs from 44 balls can be termed as ‘composed’, AB did what he does best- destroyed the opposition.

He might have lasted for just 27 balls, but that was enough for him to almost reach his half-century with the help of 8 boundaries. ‘Almost’ because he was missed out on his 11th T20I fifty by the slightest of margins possible. Quinton and AB were dismissed in a span of 5 overs, as Rubel hunted down the former while Mehidy brought a smile on the dejected Bangladeshi faces again by dismissing the latter. In the meantime, skipper Duminy came and went back without doing anything significant, except hitting a six. The South African skipper was undone by his Bangladeshi counterpart, Shakib Al Hasan.

With 5 overs to spare and having crossed the 130-run mark already, it was time for David Miller to do justice to his Killer-Miller tag. To the surprise of Bangladeshi bowlers, Miller didn’t cause much of a headache, as the left-handed batter made way for Farhan Behardien to steal the show. He obliged in quite a fashion by scoring 36 runs from 17 deliveries, as South Africa were just a big hit away from 200.

196 was never going to be easy, but one must have made a mockery of himself if he or she had predicted that the away side’s innings will crumble under the mountain of runs. For a change, Bangladeshi batters began to show that they are not on African soil to be termed as ‘home track bullies’. They wanted to put an end to the humiliation, and what better way to do it than give the Proteas a run for their money.

Bangladesh off to a flying start

One thing most of the Bangladeshi supporters would agree upon before today’s match at the Manguang Oval in Bloemfontein is the dropping opener, Soumya Sarkar. After his stunning knock of 47 runs from 31 balls, we are not sure how many are still sticking to their opinion. While Sarkar did his part, his partner Imrul Kayes failed to contribute again, as he scored just 10 runs before being sent back to the dressing room by Beuran Hendricks.

Middle order fell apart

The two experienced campaigners, Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim had their moments, but they both couldn’t stay on the pitch for as long as the team needed. From 64/1, Bangladesh were tragically reduced to 101/5 as Mahmudullah failed to make his mark on the game. At such a stage, Sabbir Rahman was the only man who could have embarked on the humongous task that laid ahead of him. But he too followed the similar pattern and diminished after scoring 19 runs.

At 124/6, the game was all but a mere formality now. Youngster Mohammad Saifuddin fought till the very end, but wickets feel like nine pins on the other side. The 20-year-old remained not out on a highly commendable 39, thereby preventing an all-out which was on the cards. Bangladeshi innings finished on 175 and the away side fell 21 runs short of the target. Debutant Robert Frylinck impressed the spectators, and maybe the selectors as well, by picking up 2 wickets, one of which was that of opposition’s skipper Shakib

Brief scores

South Africa: 195/4 (Quinton de Kock 59, AB de Villiers 49; Mehidy Hasan 2/31)

Bangladesh: 175/9 (Soumya Sarkar 47, Mohammad Saifuddin 39*; Andile Phehlukwayo 2/25)

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