The Proteas can consolidate their top-two position in Group 1 if they beat Bangladesh at the T20 World Cup on Tuesday.
The match in Abu Dhabi (12pm SA time) will be the fourth of the Super 12 stage for both teams.
South Africa recovered from an opening loss to Australia to post hard-fought wins over the West Indies and Sri Lanka. With just one more game to play after this one – against unbeaten England – a win is essential for them to stay in reach of a top-two spot.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, are looking for their first points in the group, having lost close games to Sri Lanka and the West Indies, and been brushed aside by England.
The Tigers campaign has faltered on several counts. They haven’t been able to hit out in the powerplay, the large ground sizes haven’t helped them clear the boundaries as regularly as they would have liked, and their catching has let them down.
To compound matters further, they have lost Shakib Al Hasan, the No 1 all-rounder in the T20I rankings, to injury. They are also without wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan, who missed the game against the West Indies with a midriff injury.
While Bangladesh are almost out of the reckoning for a place in the semi-finals, they will be desperate to make a statement before bowing out.
“Obviously, morale has been low after those particular losses knowing that our chances in the World Cup are probably over,” said coach Russell Domingo. “But we’ll be ready to play. Mentally the guys will be up for it and know it’s an important phase of the competition. There are still two games to go and the guys are really determined to put in a good performance.”
The Proteas haven’t been emphatic in their wins, but have been impressive at crucial points of the games. Where Bangladesh have let games slip away, Temba Bavuma’s men have scrapped hard to claim the advantage when under pressure. Against Sri Lanka, for example, David Miller and Kagiso Rabada chased 25 in the last two overs by bringing out a few big hits.
Their challenge will be to quickly adjust to conditions in Abu Dhabi, where they suffered their only loss. Scoring has been hard at this ground, even with pacers enjoying success.
The teams have not met in the format since 2017. South Africa have won all six encounters so far.
South Africa possible XI: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markam, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Bangladesh possible XI: Mohammad Naim, Liton Das (wk), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah (c), Afif Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Mahedi Hasan, Shoriful Islam, Shamim Hossain/Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman.