South Africa beat Bangladesh by 52 runs

Mirpur (Bangladesh), July 5 (IANS) South Africa completely outplayed Bangladesh in their first Twenty20 cricket International, winning the match by 52 runs on a dead track here on Sunday.

Captain Faf du Plessis (79) scored half of the Proteas’ total of 148, which the hosts initially appeared happy to chase at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. But some wily bowling from South Africa together with woeful batting by Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s men saw the hosts capitulate for a meagre 96, their lowest T20I total at home, reports bdnews24.com.

Bangladesh faltered from the start, losing their openers cheaply within the first two overs. Tamim Iqbal (5) gloved an attempted pull and was caught behind off Kyle Abbott while Soumya Sarkar (7) pulled a Kagiso Rabada bouncer straight to JP Duminy at deep square leg.

Shakib Al Hasan (26), who was promoted to No.3, and Mushfiqur Rahim (17) steadied the ship with some sensible batting and raised hopes of an exciting chase. But after combining for 36 with Shakib, Mushfiqur went back, holing out to David Miller in the deep off Duminy.

Sabbir Rahman (4) fell to a brilliant caught behind effort by Quinton de Kock off Duminy trying a needless reverse sweep. Nasir Hossain (1) departed soon after playing straight to short cover off Aaron Phangiso.

Losing half the side for a mere 57, Bangladesh never recovered as the asking rate began to climb. When Shakib fell to Wayne Parnell in the deep to David Wiese, the hosts were clearly looking down the barrel.

Debutant Liton Das (22) only delayed the inevitable as South Africa took the last four wickets for 10 runs to wrap things up.

Earlier, a daunting innings by the Proteas skipper and some late hitting by Rilee Rossouw (31 not out) took South Africa to 148/4 after they opted to bat.

Spinners Arafat Sunny and Nasir Hossain opened their bowling as South Africa, too, lost openers in a hurry. Sunny removed the dangerous AB de Villiers (2) in the first over while Nasir sent de Kock (12) packing a couple of overs later.

But du Plessis brought the Proteas back into the game with some fine batting. On a dry surface that offered no pace and minimal turn, du Plessis carved his decisive innings with two partnerships, with Duminy and Rossouw.

The spinners used the conditions well to keep it tight and forced a number of edges from the batsmen but du Plessis’s resolve was unwavering. He laced his innings with eight boundaries and reached his sixth T20I fifty off 35 balls.

The skipper shared a 46-run stand with Duminy, who was taken out by Sunny. Miller (1) did not last long, falling leg before to a well-flighted Shakib delivery.

With the ball not properly coming on to the bat, du Plessis rotated strike regularly with Rossouw and helped his team reach 100 in the 14th over.

Rossouw fashioned a 40-ball 58-run partnership with du Plessis. He stepped things up with two boundaries and two sixes to help the Proteas post the challenging total.

The second of the two-match series is set for Tuesday at the same venue.

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