Recent Match Report – South Africa vs Bangladesh 3rd ODI 2021/22


Majestic 2022 continues for Bangladesh as bowling effort sets up comfortable chase for batting unit

Bangladesh 156 for 1 (Tamim 87*, Litton 48) beat South Africa 154 (Malan 39, Maharaj 28, Taskin 5-35) by nine wickets

Bangladesh raced to their maiden ODI series win in South Africa, sealing it 2-1 when they beat the home side by nine wickets on Wednesday. The match ended before sunset in Centurion with Taskin Ahmed’s first five-wicket haul in eight years overpowering South Africa and bowling them out for 154. Captain Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 87 then ensured Bangladesh’s biggest overseas win in terms of balls remaining. For the record, it was 141.

Before this tour, South Africa had never lost to Bangladesh at home in 20 years. They would rue a lot of their decisions in this game, particularly Temba Bavuma choosing to bat on a SuperSport Park pitch that seemed to be quite tacky. They got off to a strong start, but several of their batters were guilty of looking for boundaries and boundaries alone, which led them into making a considerable amount of mistakes.

Still, very few would have expected Bangladesh to bowl out South Africa in their backyard in 37 overs in such an important game. The score of 154 is their lowest total against Bangladesh. The 2-1 series loss also dents South Africa’s progress towards automatic qualification to the 2023 World Cup, given they are down in ninth place on the ODI Super League points table.
Bangladesh played like the table-toppers they are. They rode on Taskin’s 5 for 35 to put on their strongest bowling performance against a higher-ranked side in overseas conditions. Mehidy Hasan Miraz set them on their way with Quinton de Kock’s wicket in the seventh over at a time when South Africa was motoring along at seven runs an over.

de Kock’s wicket sucked the life out of the home side and Taskin used the opening to get the big wickets. He quickly removed Kyle Verreynne, who made a fifty in the second game. Malan, who eventually top scored with 39, also fell to Taskin’s clever thinking. Seeing Malan advance down the wicket, Taskin bowled a quicker, shorter delivery that Malan could only edge. Mushfiqur Rahim took a smart catch moving to his right.

South Africa slid further during Taskin’s third spell with Dwaine Pretorius nicking a wide one and danger man David Miller trapped down the leg side. Both wickets came as a result of a string of dot balls that frustrated the batters into playing low-percentage shots.

Kagiso Rabada was Taskin’s fifth wicket but the moment was soured slightly when Mushfiqur, who took the edge, sprained his shoulder by throwing the ball up in celebration. The Bangladesh wicketkeeper had to leave the field but he returned not too long after, sporting a rather sheepish smile. South Africa’s innings ended in shambles when Keshav Maharaj, who made a fighting 28, was run after No. 11 Tabraiz Shamsi refused a single off the last ball of the 37th over.

If there was any unease about the SuperSport Park pitch, it evaporated as soon as Tamim and Litton Das started to play their shots. Litton though got an early break. He wasn’t even off the mark when Maharaj dropped him at point.
The Bangladesh openers batted conservatively for the first seven overs before Tamim struck a pair of boundaries off Lungi Ngidi. When he struck Rabada for four consecutive fours in the tenth over, the fear that Bangladesh might mess up the chase, especially on March 23 (cue the eye-rolling emoji), just vanished.

A streaky boundary in the 18th over brought up the 100-run opening stand – Bangladesh’s seventh in an overseas ODI, and the second one against South Africa. Maharaj finally broke the partnership when Litton popped one to cover in the 21st over. Litton’s 48 included eight boundaries, mostly hit through square on the off side. He allowed Tamim to do the bulk of the scoring in their 127-run stand.

Tamim, who hadn’t scored an ODI fifty since his century against Zimbabwe in July last year, batted with intent. He cracked 14 fours in his 82-ball 87, and was particularly severe on South Africa’s quicks. He was relentless against Maharaj and Shamsi too. Tamim’s knock embodied Bangladesh’s mindset before and during this ODI series.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84