Bangladesh scripted history by beating South Africa in the first of the three-match ODI series in Centurion. And none other than Shakib Al Hasan, who wanted to skip this series altogether, guided the Tigers to the win away from home.
Before this match, Bangladesh played 19 matches in South Africa but failed to win a single one. But this time, the Tigers were eager to change history as captain Tamim Iqbal insisted ahead of the match.
Earlier this year, Bangladesh beat New Zealand in a Test away from home, and now this win in South Africa has only helped bolster the team’s confidence.
In fact, South Africa won the toss and opted to bowl first. Bangladesh bagged 95 runs in the opening stand — their highest against South Africa. While Tamim returned scoring 41, Liton Das made 50.
Both the openers returned to the dressing room in a span of nine runs. Shakib came in at number three, and Mushfiuqr Rahim at four. Shakib was firm at one end of the wicket, but Mushfiqur fell early scoring nine runs.
For the fourth wicket, Shakib and Yasir Ali added 115 runs on the board. Along the way, Shakib got his 50th fifty in ODIs and ended up on 77 while Yasir got his maiden 50 in the format.
Mahmudullah Riyad, Afif Hossain and Mehidy Hasan helped the Tigers pass the 300-run mark. All these three batters scored runs at strike rates exceeding 130. Mahmudullah struck 25 off 17 balls while Afif and Mehidy scored 17 and 19 off 13 balls each.
For South Africa, Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj bagged two wickets each.
In reply, South Africa lost three wickets in 10 overs, and two of them were scalped by Taskin Ahmed. The right-arm pacer continued to bowl well away from home. However, for the fourth wicket, Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen added 85 runs and posed a real challenge to the Tigers.
The partnership was broken by left-arm pacer Shoriful Islam who removed Bavuma for 31 off 55 balls. For the next wicket, David Miller joined Rassie van der Dussen, and they added 70 runs on the board.
When this stand was threatening Bangladesh, Taskin struck again and removed Rassie van der Dussen for 86. David Miller continued and scored 79. He was removed by Mehidy. Eventually, South Africa were all out for 276 in 48 overs and Tigers made history.
For Bangladesh, Mehidy bagged four wickets conceding 61 runs in nine overs while Taskin scalped three and Shoriful took two.
“It’s a big win for us. Starting from Liton, then Shakib and Yasir batted brilliantly. A six and a four from Mehidy. Those quick 25 runs from Mahmudullah. Our fast bowlers are winning games for us. Last two years, the fast bowlers are doing brilliantly,” Tamim, Bangladesh ODI captain, told the broadcaster after the match.
“You need a character like Mehidy in every team. After going for 40 from 4 overs, he came up to me and told me that he wanted to bowl. He said he will change the game. He was my Man of the Match,” he added.
Shakib praised Yasir for his brilliant fifty in this match. “When I spend 7-8 balls, I knew we had to score somewhere near 300. We got a good start. It was easier with the old ball. Yasir batted well and a lot of credit should go to him. He played really a good innings. It was not easy for someone who is playing his 3rd or 4th game and that too against South Africa.”