Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla produced a record-breaking stand as the Proteas thrashed Bangladesh by 10 wickets in Kimberley. JON CARDINELLI reports.
In the end, it was all too easy for South Africa. Kagiso Radaba took 4-43 as the hosts limited Bangladesh to 278-7 on what was a good batting wicket at the Diamond Oval. Thereafter, De Kock and Amla took relatively few risks en route to amassing a record first-wicket partnership and setting the Proteas up for an emphatic victory.
The result sees South Africa taking a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. It would surprise to see Bangladesh rebounding from here to win a single match.
The tourists made a positive start when they won the toss and decided to bat. Mushfiqur Rahim played beautifully to score 110 not out off just 116 deliveries. In doing so, Mushfiqur became the first Bangladesh batsman to score an ODI century against South Africa.
That said, the collective performance was woefully inadequate. Bangladesh targeted debutant Dane Paterson (who went for 69 runs in nine overs) and Andile Phehlukwayo (60 in 10), and managed to post their highest ODI total against South Africa. It was never going to be enough against a Proteas’ lineup boasting hitters of the quality of AB de Villiers, David Miller and others, though.
Neither De Villiers nor Miller was required in the run chase. Bangladesh failed to trouble De Kock and Amla during the early stages of the South African innings. Both batsmen looked to rotate the strike and to punish the bad ball. They maintained their focus as they steered South Africa to 50, 100, and eventually 200 without loss.
De Kock reached his 14th ODI century in exactly 100 deliveries. Amla was happy to feed De Kock the strike thereafter. That said, the senior player still managed to rack up his 26th ton in only 99 balls.
The records began to tumble. De Kock became the first player to score 150 or more in an ODI at the Diamond Oval. After scoring 100, the left-handed batsman took 34 more balls to reach the next milestone.
De Kock and Amla broke the record for the highest first-wicket partnership in an ODI against Bangladesh. The pair eventually surpassed the all-time South African record of 256 (for any wicket). They remained focused to ensure that the Proteas completed the game with all 10 wickets intact.
Bangladesh have a lot to think about ahead of the second ODI in Paarl on Wednesday. The Proteas will feel that they can improve on their bowling performance in Kimberley. Several of those batsmen – read Faf du Plessis, De Villiers, Miller, and others – will also be looking to cash in against what is a tame Tigers attack.
Bangladesh 278-7 (50 overs) – Mushfiqur Rahim 110 not out, Imrul Kayes 31, Kagiso Rabada 4-43, Dwaine Pretorius 2-48
SA 282-0 (42.5 overs) – Quinton de Kock 168 not out, Hashim Amla 110 not out
South Africa won by 10 wickets
Photo: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images