:: People’s Time Online ::
It will another acid test for Bangladesh as they face mighty South African in the second One-Day International on Tuesday at Boland Park, South Africa.
After suffering a big bashing against South Africa in the first ODI, it will be another test of Tiger’s character whether they can recover from 10 wickets drubbing after the Proteas’ opening batsmen chased down 279 with 7 overs to spare.
Tigers did well to score 278 in the first place, but the bowling was toothless and without any bite as Proteas batsmen simply made mince-meat of Bangladesh attack. Visitors were without star paceman Mustafizur Rahman, who was ruled out due to injury, and the rest simply failed to trouble Amla or De Kock, both of whom scored centuries.
Riding on Mushfiq’s 110, the Bangladeshis somehow managed to reach 278 in the first innings, an encouraging sign given that all of their top six got off to a good start, but failed to convert their starts into big scores. All of them crossed 20, except Sabbir who made 19. If even one of them had accompanied Rahim on his way to a big score, the Bangladeshis could have easily scored much more.
However, with the way they bowled, they might as well set 350 as their minimum target. To take no wickets after 43 overs of bowling is simply abominable, and it does not get much worse. Then again, every time one says that about Bangladesh, they surprise you. There is hardly any chance of Mustafizur Rahman to be fit for the second ODI to salvage the hapless bowling line-up.
Captain Mortaza has a right to be angry with his teams “insipid” bowling, but he did not help them much through his spell.
Bangladesh are hoping Tamim Iqbal, who couldn’t recover in time for the series opener due to a muscle strain, is fit and available. He could displace Imrul Kayes at the top of the order. However, Imrul may yet be needed if Mushfiqur Rahim, who tweaked a hamstring while scoring his hundred on Sunday, is rested.
Shafiul Islam will join the side as cover for Mustafizur Rahman whose twisted ankle is likely to keep him out.
The team does not have much choice besides continuing to try to put up a convincing performance in both departments. The bowl first, try to bowl well, chase theory is their best course of action for now. At this point, they will be happy to take a solitary win home if they can manage even that.
It is easy to look at the scorecard and admonish the Bangladeshi bowling, but the Proteas must be wary of something. While it is commendable that they need only two batsmen for a 250+ run chase, they must be prepared for times when the top two or three fail.
It is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security when you’re dominating another side this convincingly, and it makes any potential off day worse.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan
South Africa : Faf du Plessis(c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada