South Africa were sent a timely reminder of the task ahead when Bangladesh pulled off a stunning 79-run win over India in the first ODI in Mirpur.The Proteas tour Bangladesh from July 5 to August 3, playing two T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests. This result will at least be a heads-up that the young nation cannot be taken lightly, especially after their under-19s humiliated the South Africans 6-1 in a recent series.
Proteas management may well raise this matter at the training camp now under way in Pretoria for spin bowlers and selected batsmen.
Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander are being rested for the ODI Series, opening the way for fast bowlers Chris Morris of the Titans and Kagiso Rabada of the Highveld Lions, as well as the Dolphins all-rounder, Ryan McLaren. The remainder of the squad that went to the ICC World Cup has been retained.
The Highveld Lions leg-spinner, Eddie Leie, is the only uncapped player included in the Proteas T20 squad. Again a number of senior players have been rested including Steyn, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir.
The 19-year-old Mustafizur Rahman ran through the powerful India line-up to become the second Bangladesh bowler after Taskin Ahmed to claim a five-wicket haul on debut. His performance came after a rapid 102-run opening stand between Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar had formed the centerpiece of Bangladesh’s 307, their highest against India in ODIs.
The 79-run victory meant Bangladesh needed to win only one out of their next five ODIs to cement their spot in the 2017 Champions Trophy, which will be contested by the top eight ranked ODI sides as of September 30, 2015.
Mustafizur dismissed Suresh Raina and R Ashwin off successive balls. He could have become only the second bowler after Fidel Edwards to claim a six-for on ODI debut had he hung on to a return catch off his penultimate delivery. However, he had done enough and finished with outstanding figures of 9.2-1-50-5 in Bangladesh’s ninth straight win at home.