Brief Scorecard South Africa 282/0 (Quinton de Kock 168* and Hashim Amla 110*) beat Bangladesh 278/7 (Mushfiqur Rahim 110*, Imrul Kayes 31, Shakib Al Hasan 29, Mahmudullah 26, Litton Das 21, K Rabada 4/43) by 10 wickets.
The pathetic tale of team tigers in South Africa safari prolonged. Their woos of comprehensive white wash in the test series appears to have left such a scar that even the change of format to their forte ODI and return of Mashrafe, Shakib and Nasir could hardly change their luck.
Winning the toss and electing to bat on a slow, less bouncy, flat track they could manage 278/7 against a depleted proteas attack. All felt it was at least 50 runs less than a competitive score.
South African openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla toying with listless Bangladeshi bowlers blitzed unbeaten centuries each and turned out as the most prolific pair of South Africa all time.
Their magnificently imposing partnership scripted the biggest 10 wickets win ever seen in ODI history. Only once earlier had a side won an ODI by ten wickets while chasing 250 or more.
Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla have bettered the feat achieved by Jason Roy and Alex Hales last year against Sri Lanka, by 26 runs. Bangladesh’s attack looked toothless today, and at no point did they look like creating a genuine chance, until they dropped two catches late in the day.
True when Bangladesh batted the wicket was a bit slow and loss. Yet it was flat and did not have the disconcerting bounce to worry about. Some batsmen apart from confident Mushfiqur Rahim got the start.
If only two of the top five other than Mushfiqur could convert their 20s and 30s with 50 or more it was possible for Bangladesh reaching 340-350. Mushfiqur looked majestic in his unbeaten 110 becoming the first and the only Bangladesh batsman scoring century against South Africa in any format.
Even 278/7 was the highest that Bangladesh scored against South Africa in ODI. That could have tested South Africa more even on the surface which turned quicker as sun baked the moisture when South Africa batted. De Kock and Amla batted superbly.
The home side had a depleted pace attack. None from the first choice or even reserve pace battery axcepting Rabada was there. The budding genius bowled his heart out and never let any of the Bangladeshi batsmen take liberty on the unresponsive wicket. He bowled consistently in the off stump channel and induced strokes even from well set Bangladeshi batsmen making mistakes.
His 4/43 restricted Bangladesh to a superb 278/7. None but Mushfiqur could carry on converting start to anything substantial. His unbeaten 110 off 116 deliveries comprising off 11 delightful boundaries and two sixes were the only highlights of the innings.
Tamim was not match fit and Soumya was not considered. A new pair Kayes and Litton started carefully. Both looked to get over early nerves. But both failed to kick on. Shakib sent at number three was also looking good. A large partnership between him and Mushfiqur was expected. But he was undone by Tahir googly.
Mahmudullah ,Sabbir or Nasir could not stay longer with Mushfiqur who alone ploughed in the sand. 278 was well below par on such a wicket against very strong South African batting. The sun came out; heavy roller was used. Bangladesh bowled extremely poorly.
Without taking away any credit from de Kock and Amla one must appreciate that Bangladesh bowling was nothing more than friendly fire. No bowler could bowl consistently on the right channel offering free bees to the prolific protean batsmen.
Consequently, new milestones were created and Bangladesh received another battering another humiliating defeat. Young de Kock was more severe in his unbeaten 168 off 145 deliveries smashing 21 fours and two sixes. Amla was as polished as ever in his 112 balls 110.
South Africa achieved a resounding record establishing 10 wickets thumping victory over Bangladesh. Roaring tigers were tamed again.
One of my favorite sports writer Farhad Tito from Canada observed that Tamim, Soumya could present Bangladesh with blistering opening partnership on a dead surface. Tamim was not fit. Soumya had enough opportunity. He has genuine technical flaws.
Perhaps prolific Mominul could be played. He did not do all that bad in tests. But bowling remains a big worry. Wonder what legendary Walsh and superman Hathurusingha are doing? Why Bangladesh bowlers could not adjust to the condition yet? Hope Bangladesh recovers soon from the trauma and give better account of them in the remaining two ODIs.