It was a historic moment for Bangladesh as the team secured their 2-1 win over South Africa, beating the latter in their home court by nine wickets on Wednesday at the Centurion. Before sunset, Taskin Ahmed and his first five-wicket haul in eight years bowled South Africa out for 154. Coupled with Captain Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 87, Bangladesh ensured their biggest overseas win in terms of balls remaining, which was 141.
Prior to the tour, South Africa has never ceded to Bangladesh on their turf in 20 years. Their loss was evident on several factors, most especially Temba Bavuma’s decision to bat on a SuperSport Park pitch, which was deemed tacky. South Africa was off to a strong start, but their batters were obviously searching for boundaries and boundaries alone, which resulted in them committing a significant number of mistakes.
Even then, only few expected Bangladesh to pull through by bowling the host team in their backyard in 37 overs and in such a crucial game at that. South Africa’s 154 is their lowest total against Bangladesh. The 2-1 loss in the series will also impact South Africa’s aim in getting automatically qualified for the 2023 World Cup, especially since they are just in ninth place on the ODI Super League points table.
The Bangladesh players are table-toppers and they indeed played that way. With the help of Taskin’s 5 for 35, they made their strongest bowling performance opposite a higher-ranked team, and in overseas conditions, no less. At a time when South Africa was cruising along at seven runs an over, Mehidy Hasan Miraz set Bangladesh on their way with Quinton de Kock’s wicket in the seventh over.
De Sock’s wicket drained the life out of the home team and Taskin took advantage of the opening to secure the big wickets. Top scorer Malan also fell prey to Taskin’s clever thinking – he only was able to edge the quicker and shorter bowl delivered by Taskin, who saw Malan advance down the wicket.
Taskin’s third spell caused South Africa to slide further. Dwaine Pretorius nicked a wide one and danger man David Miller was trapped down the leg side. Both wickets were a result of a string of dot balls that frustrated the batters and forced them into playing low-percentage shots. Later on, South Africa’s innings crumbled when Keshav Maharaj was run after Tabraiz Shamsi refused a single off the last ball of the 37th over.
Tamim and Litton Das playing their shots erased any unease about the SuperSport Park pitch. The openers for Bangladesh batted conservatively for the first seven overs before Tamim struck a pair of boundaries against Lungi Ngidi. The apprehension that Bangladesh might mess up the chase just vanished when Tanim struck Rabada for four consecutive fours in the tenth over.
The Bangladeshi captain, who hadn’t scored an ODI fifty since his century against Zimbabwe last year, batted intently, cracking 14 fours in his 82-ball 87. He was also particularly severe on the home team’s quicks. He went after relentlessly against Shamsi and Maharajtoo. Tamim’s knock is what Bangladesh’s mindset is all about before and during this ODI series.