Mushfiqur Rahim became the 1st Bangladeshi to register three figures in South Africa    Getty Images
Mushfiqur Rahim became the 1st Bangladeshi to register three figures in South Africa Getty Images

After being whitewashed in Tests, Bangladesh have commenced the ODI series versus South Africa on a decent note. Batting first, visitors have posted 278 for 7 in 50 overs, riding on Mushfiqur Rahim’s hundred and vital contributions from Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman and Saifuddin. Proteas will still be confident of chasing the total on a good batting surface. In addition, they have not yet lost an encounter versus Bangladesh at home, and will be eager to maintain their record.

Liton Das and Imrul Kayes opened the innings in the absence of Tamim Iqbal. Liton was the aggressor, scoring 21. An outside edge went to slips, where Faf du Plessis held onto a low catch. Bangladesh lost both their openers when Kayes edged one to wicketkeeper for 31. The experienced duo of Shakib and Rahim kept the scoreboard ticking.

In process, Shakib also registered 5,000 ODI runs, second Bangladeshi to do so. He also became the fastest to slam 5,000 runs and attain 200 wickets in the format. Just when the partnership was looking threatening, Imran Tahir removed the left-hander and evoked his customary celebration, sprinting down the ground in jubilation.

Rahim, however, carried on. He built partnerships with Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman, and never looked undeterred. The pocket-sized dynamo ensured strike rotation and timed his strokes well. He even accelerated from the last 12 overs in order to post a big score.

Rahim danced down the track and carved the delivery over covers to get to his fifty. He the chipped one over AB de Villiers, at covers, to become the first Bangladeshi to slam a hundred in South Africa. Till the end, South Africa had no answers for him, as he remained unbeaten on 110.

South Africa, however, pulled things back in the last 5 overs. At 237 for 5, Bangladesh had a chance to post in excess of 290 to 295. Nonetheless, Kagiso Rabada’s last spell changed the script. He removed Sabbir and Nasir Hossain in quick succession and dented their progress. As a result, Proteas leaked only 41 runs in the last 30 balls 13 came off the last over. Bangladesh would feel they are 20 runs short.

Dwaine Pretorious and Tahir complimented Rabada and shared 3 wickets in between. South Africa’s strong batting line-up should keep them in good stead to chase down the total. The absence of Mustafizur Rahman will also hurt Bangladesh.

Brief scores:

Bangladesh 278 for 7 in 50 overs (Imrul Kayes 31, Shakib Al Hasan 29, Mushfiqur Rahim 110*; Kagiso Rabada 4 for 43, Imran Tahir 1 for 45, Dwaine Pretorius 2 for 48) vs South Africa.