After losing both T-20 games and the first ODI, hosts Bangladesh bounced back with vengeance against the mighty South Africa in emphatically winning the ODI series last week. The first ODI belonged to South Africa’s debutant speedster Kagiso Rabada, who returned with the best figures by any international bowler on ODI debut. In ODI history, no one has ever taken 6 for 16 in the very first appearance but Rabada added an icing on the cake with a hat-trick on debut as well. The new South African bowler thus became the second bowler after Bangladesh’s Taijul Islam to record that feat. After successes against Pakistan and India in the 50-over format, Rabada’s miraculous bowling drowned Bangladesh. The hosts looked dejected after that loss in the rain-curtailed 40-over game, in which they reached lowest total this year. Then in the next two matches, Soumya Sarkar brought about a complete transformation. The Bangladeshi opener turned the tables on South Africa as he stole the two ODI games from the visitors with swashbuckling knocks. In the second ODI at Mirpur, South Africa were first rocked by Mustafizur Rahman and Nasir Hossain, who together accounted for 6 South African batsmen and bowled the visitors out for 162. Soumya Sarkar completed the task with an unbeaten 88 off 79 balls to devastate the visitors. Bangladesh won by 7 wickets and 134 balls were still left in the match. After losing by 7 wickets in the second ODI, South Africa suffered the similar fate in the third game at Chittagong, where they batted first once again. The Bangladeshi bowlers unsettled South African batsmen for the second time in three days and in another rain-affected match scored just 168/9 in 40 overs. Once again Soumya Sarkar nailed them with a 75-ball 90 as the hosts romped home with a 9-wicket victory and 83 balls still remained in the match.
After having ensured their qualification berth for 2017 Champions Trophy with victory in Mirpur’s second ODI, Bangladesh literally outplayed the strong South African side in the third ODI as well. The hosts also sealed the series win in the most emphatic manner, even if play was curtailed to 40-overs a side because of rain. By doing so, Bangladesh recorded their fourth successive series triumph at home. After Hashim Amla won the toss, he elected to bat first but the South Africans meandered from the start. After Quinton de Kock was bowled by Mustafizur Rahman in third over, South Africa slumped to 50/4 in the 16th. Except JP Duminy’s 70-ball 51 and David Miller’s 51-ball 44, there was little resistance from other South African batsmen. They lost 9 wickets in scoring 168 in 40 overs. On the way, Shakib al Hasan with 3/33 and Mashrafe Mortaza with 1/29, reached 200th wicket marks in ODIs. New-find Bangladeshi bowler, Mustafizur Rahman shattered the stumps of two South African batsmen in giving away just 24 runs.
In chasing 169 for victory, Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar thrashed every South African bowler and in scoring 154 runs together, they posted Bangladesh’s best opening partnership against South Africa. Soumya Sarkar notched up a 41-ball fifty and went to score 90 off 75 before he got out. By then, Bangladesh only needed 15 runs with 9 wickets and more than 15 overs remaining. Tamim Iqbal carried the momentum and completed the 9-wicket victory in 26.1 overs with a personal contribution of 61 off 77 balls.
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