Inspired by a concerted batting effort from the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Tamim Iqbal and Yasir Ali, Bangladesh secured a 38-run victory over South Africa in the first ODI in Centurion today.
The convincing win at the SuperSport Park, that helped Bangladesh take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, was also the Tigers’ maiden win away to South Africa in any format. Before this win, Bangladesh lost all the nine ODIs, six Tests and four T20Is played against South Africa in their backyard.
After fifties from Shakib, Yasir, Liton and a 41-run knock from skipper Tamim saw Bangladesh post a mammoth 314 for seven — their highest total in South Africa — spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz and pacer Taskin Ahmed shone with the ball to bundle out the hosts for 276 in 48.5 overs despite fifties from Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller.
Defending a mammoth total, pacers Shoriful Islam and Taskin ensured the Tigers get a bright start with the ball in hand. With Shoriful providing the first breakthrough by removing opener Janneman Malan in the fourth over and Taskin following it up with wickets of Kyle Verreynne and Aiden Markram in the ninth over, South Africa were left reeling at 36 for three.
But the hosts consolidated through two consecutive daunting partnerships — an 85-run fourth-wicket stand between Van der Dussen and skipper Temba Bavuma and another quick-fire 70-run stand between Miller and Van der Dussen. In fact, at one point, South Africa were looking on course for achieving the target with Miller and Dussen smashing boundaries almost every over.
Miller looked more ominous as he smashed eight boundaries and three maximums during his 57-ball 79-run blitz.
It took a special effort from Yasir Ali in the outfield to stop the Miller-Dussen duo from taking the game away. Van der Dussen, well set on 86, moved to the off side and hit a Taskin delivery towards square leg in an attempt to clear the field. However, Yasir, running in from the deep, made a dive to his right and held on to a sharp catch.
Taskin claimed his third of the day with that wicket and ended with impressive figures of three for 36 in 10 overs that featured a maiden.
That effort from Yasir shifted the momentum back towards the Tigers with Miller the only remaining thorn on their way. The left-hander featured in brief stands with the tail-enders but eventually fell to Miraz in the 46th over. Miraz, despite leaking runs, ended with figures of four for 61 in nine overs.
Earlier, Bangladesh got off to a steady but impressive start after being asked to bat. Skipper Tamim scored 41 off 67 while Liton (50 off 67) brought up his third consecutive fifty-plus score in ODIs as the duo starred in a 95-run opening stand to lay the foundation for the big total.
Shakib, who had traveled to South Africa after much fuss, was the most impressive one with the willow. The star all-rounder mesmerised the crowd with his strokeplay and shrewd batting approach during a quick-fire 64-ball 77, featuring seven boundaries and three maximums. He also starred in a 115-run fourth-wicket stand with Yasir Ali, who notched his maiden ODI fifty.
– Input from The Daily Star was used in this article