Faf du Plessis' innings sacrificed flashiness for efficiency in tough conditions © AFP
Faf du Plessis’ innings sacrificed flashiness for efficiency in tough conditions © AFP

South Africa outclassed Bangladesh by 52 runs in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at Dhaka on Sunday. The Proteas put in a professional performance, while the Bangla Tigers looked like deer in headlights. Shiamak Unwalla looks at some of the highlights of the match. ALSO READ:

The failed AB de Villiers experiment: AB de Villiers opened in the practice match against BCB XI, scoring 25 (retired) off 19. South Africa persisted with their star batsman at the top of the order, but he was dismissed in the first over of the match.

Faf du Plessis shows his class: If de Villiers is the Sachin Tendulkar of his team, Faf du Plessis is the Rahul Dravid: often overshadowed but always invaluable. He again showed his class, playing the anchor’s role with an unbeaten 79 and guiding South Africa to a winning total. His innings was not flashy, but it was supremely efficient. Full scorecard: Bangladesh vs South Africa, 1st T20I at Dhaka

Rilee Rossouw’s crucial cameo: With every batsman barring du Plessis falling like ninepins, South Africa were in danger of meandering towards a low total. Rilee Rossouw arrested the slide by playing a crucial innings at the end. He took the pressure off du Plessis by scoring a 21-ball 31.

Shakib Al Hasan makes history: By dismissing David Miller, Shakib Al Hasan went past Abdur Razzak as Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is. Shakib is also Bangladesh’s leading run-scorer in T20Is, thus making him the only player in the world to top both bowling and batting charts for a country.

JP Duminy applies a stranglehold: JP Duminy failed with the bat, only scoring 18 off 22 deliveries. With ball in hand though, he proved almost unplayable. He took 2 for 11 in his four overs, including the priceless wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman. He ensured that Bangladesh never managed to build any type of momentum. READ: Bangladesh can just bowl and pray for AB de Villiers’ dismissal, says Bangladesh coach

South Africa’s all-round bowling: South Africa’s dominance with the ball started in the very first over of the chase, when Kyle Abbott got rid of Tamim Iqbal. Kagiso Rabada got rid of Soumya Sarkar in the very next over. Mushfiqur, Sabbir, and Nasir Hossain were then dismissed within 7 runs of each other. Every bowler used by South Africa took at least one wicket, and none barring Rabada went for over 5.25 runs per over.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)