Match: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI
Date and Time: 23 Mar, 01:30 PM IST
Venue: SuperSport Park, Centurion, South Africa
The third and final match for Bangladesh VS South Africa is about to commence, with the series currently deadlocked at 1-1. Both teams have played fine cricket so far during the first two matches, so there’s no overwhelming favorite to win as it stands. This guarantees a very interesting showdown going into the final match, which will happen at the Centurion on March 23.
The Situation So Far
Bangladesh definitely was initially considered as the underdogs when they entered the series even though the team displayed good form recently in this format. But they surprisingly dealt with the South African bowling attack with ease during the first match of the series. Shakib Al Hasan led the team to victory with 77 from 64, while Yasir Ali and Liton Das also made 50s, before some nice late order hitting that raised Bangladesh to 314 from their 50 overs. South Africa was unable to chase at this point and they crumbled to 276 all out in 48.5 overs.
But South Africa made an impressive work in battling back, scything through the Bangladeshi top order to have their tourists at 34-5. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Afif Hossain, and Mahmudullah helped Bangladesh in rebuilding, but they managed to accomplish just 194 runs on the board, which was unsurprisingly not good enough. Meanwhile, the Proteas went after 195 easily, needing just 37.2 overs to set a comfortable win in Johannesburg.
It’s unlikely that South Africa will make a lot of alterations moving forward even though they made significant ones for the second ODI. Quentin de Kock, with a quickfire 62 off just 42 balls, reminded everyone of his caliber in white-ball cricket. Janneman Malan, with his 26, is considered a bit more scratchy, but he has already established his class way before. Kyle Verreyne moved down the order to number three by compiling a well-made 58. Captain Temba Bavuma, with his 37, helped quell unsteady South African nerves.
provided a reminder of his class in white-ball cricket with a quickfire 62 off just 42 balls. Janneman Malan’s 26 was more scratchy, but he has shown his class before. Kyle Verreyne compiled a well-made 58* having moved down the order to number three, whilst captain Temba Bavuma, who did hole out late in the chase, helped steady any South African nerves, though he did hole out late in the chase by making 37.
Wayne Parnell was not called to bat, but he did a great job with the ball. David Miller didn’t get a chance to bat as well. Rabada, with his five-fer, bowled a hostile spell to end. Keshav Maharaj, who was going at 5.70 runs an over, was not as impressive since he can execute useful lower-order hitting when needed. It was also not the best day for Lungi Ngidi either, even though he holds a fine record in this format. Meanwhile, Tabraiz Shamsi managed to take just a wicket, but he conceded just 26 runs in his ten overs as he bowled economically.
Tamim Iqbal, with just a score of one in the second match, is definitely looking to improve on the final one. Das, who was out for 15 off 21, was not able to prove much. The same is true for Shakib, who was not able to repeat his performance in the first game. Yasir Ali and Mushfiqur Rahim were also out quickly, with the Bangladeshi middle order giving way.
If Bangladesh is to compete competitively on the next one, it’s crucial that they improve and deliver. However, Mahmudullah, Hossain, and Mehidy fought back for Bangladesh and if they are given more platform by the top order, they may be able to contribute decisively next time. The focus will be also on the three-man pace attack of Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman, which is a particular concern heading into the final since they were taken apart in the second match after a good showing in the first match.
However, Mahmudullah, Hossain, and Mehidy fought back for Bangladesh and if they are given more platform by the top order, they may be able to contribute decisively next time. The focus will be also on the three-man pace attack of Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman, which is a particular concern heading into the final since they were taken apart in the second match after a good showing in the first match.
Bangladesh, at their very best, definitely proved that they cannot be underestimated. But they still have to become more comfortable with the fast bouncy tracks in South Africa – their discomfort is clearly evident as they regressed to the mean in the second match. Bangladesh can possibly clinch a famous series win, but at this point, it’s not the likeliest outcome. South Africa is still expected to have the edge, with the series on the line on their home turf.