An eventful tour in South Africa will finally come to an end with the second and final T20 today at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom and Bangladesh have the last chance to salvage some pride after four weeks of mostly woeful cricket. Instead of ‘mostly woeful cricket’, it won’t be exaggerated should it be said entirely woeful cricket but a bold performance in first T20 saved Bangladesh’s entire blushes. Emboldened by that performance, Bangladesh now dared to show a competitive performance in the series-ending match to end the series with some gleeful memory. One of the main reasons to put a brave performance in batting was the rest of South Africa’s frontline bowlers, specially Kagiso Rabada who tormented Bangladesh in both Test and ODI series.
Bangladesh lost the game by 20 runs, scoring 175 in reply of South Africa’s mammoth total of 195. It was the first time in series that Bangladeshi batsmen could challenge the South African bowlers somewhat after their 333 and an innings and 254 runs defeat in the two-match Test series, and 10-wicket, 104 and 200 runs defeat in the three-match ODI series. The batsmen looked entirely vulnerable in the Test and ODI series but under the leadership of Shakib Al Hasan, the batsmen seemed to have regrouped though they got the weakest bowling line up of South Africa.
In an ironic twist, Bangladesh had hit more boundaries (21) than South Africa (20) in the first match, but Andile Phehlukwayo, Robbie Frylinck, Dane Paterson and Beuran Hendricks managed to offset that by stringing together a lot of dot balls – 52 in total. An inexperienced bowling attack came under fire but did quite well to withstand it.
Bangladesh’s fast bowlers couldn’t show that sort of performance but spinners did their part well, specially Mehidi Hasan Miraj who was instrumental in ensuring South Africa were kept to under 200.
The bright spot of Bangladesh’s batting was Soumya Sarkart who after a disappointing series finally showed some spark with his quickfire 47. His fluent batting ensured Bangladesh would fight neck-to-neck though latter some cheap dismissal towards the end stemmed the flow.
South Africa may keep their winning combination going, but considering they had earmarked the T20Is as a means to test the mettle of their fringe players, wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle, fast bowler Dwaine Pretorius and left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi might still make the XI.
Liton Das or Nasir Hossain is likely to play after the BCB president Nazmul Hassan said they are likely to add an extra batsman to the line-up on Friday.
The first Test was held in Potchefstroom, which produced a lot of runs but also afforded a bit of turn. Conditions are expected to be similar for the T20I, with weather being forecast as dry. This will be however the first T20 international held in Potchefstroom.