Bangladesh vs South Africa 1st T20 Preview

Written by Rick John Henry for @HollywoodbetsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Bangladesh vs South Africa | Sunday 05 July | Dhaka | 09:00

The Proteas travel to Bangladesh and open up the tour with a couple of T20s, their first appearance since landing on the wrong side of a nail-biting World Cup semi-final. South Africa bring with them a new-look attack as they conserve the energy of their stalwarts in a busy season. They meet an exceptionally motivated Bangladesh side riding a wave of recent success. The Tigers are in a rich vein of form with an exciting batch of players that will test the resources of the Proteas. They do, however, face their toughest assignment of the season so far in a Proteas side well-versed in subcontinental cricket.

To Win Match
Bangladesh  24/10
Tie 35/1
South Africa  3/10

This is perhaps the beginning of a golden age in Bangladeshi cricket. Not to the extent that they will become world dominant, but the tag of minnows no longer applies to the Tigers. Building on their first appearance in a World Cup quarter-final, Bangladesh have since whitewashed Pakistan and beaten India in ODI contests, both at home. A Pakistan side in the throes of transition suffered three heavy losses in ODIs in Dhaka before being beaten with ease in the solitary T20 at the same venue. India fared better on their tour, but only slightly. The Test between the two nations was drawn before Bangladesh picked up wins in the first two one-dayers, sealing the series with a match to spare. India had their revenge in the final ODI but Bangladesh had already made history. Bangladesh are now a side in the ascendency. They play with a very aggressive mindset and belief in the camp is at an all-time high. Against Pakistan and India the pitches played relatively quickly but it is unlikely that the hosts will risk preparing zippy tracks with the arrival of the Proteas. Taskin Ahmed will miss the T20s with a side tear that could also keep him out of the ODI leg. Bangladesh will look to contain the Proteas before unleashing aggression in the batting department with the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman. Mustafizur Rahman’s recent exploits with the ball that saw him pick up a five-for and six-for in consecutive ODIs will also be a cause of concern for South Africa.

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South Africa

Although their tour to Bangladesh precedes a bumper season of tough competition, the Proteas cannot afford to take the Tigers lightly. The limited overs squad has retained the core group that travelled to the World Cup and the T20 squad welcomes only one new cap - Eddie Leie. However, South Africa’s usual attack of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir have been rested for the limited overs matches, heralding opportunities for a new tier of promising bowlers. The Proteas boast a youthful attack in the form of Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell, Beuran Hendricks and David Wiese. Debutant Eddie Leie and Aaron Phangiso will make up the spin contingent. Wayne Parnell has been around the Proteas squad for years but has failed to hold down a place in first-team as a result of some erratic performances. Parnell can be expensive and for a left-armer, South Africa could do better employing the services of Beuran Hendricks. Kyle Abbott proved his worth at the World Cup, leading fans and pundits to mourn his exclusion for the semi-final. Rabada, fast-tracked through the system by virtue of his pace and results, should be persisted with here. He is a future star and already clocking speeds in excess of 150 km/h at the age of twenty. He broke the franchise era record for the best bowling in a match with figures of 14/105 against the Dolphins, claiming nine wickets in the second innings. It was only his tenth first-class appearance.

The Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka has been a happy hunting ground for Bangladesh recently. Their loss to India in the final ODI of the series snapped an eight-match winning streak in ODIs at the ground, stretching back to this time last year. However, in T20 contests, they’ve only won three of the ten matches they’ve played at the ground since 2011. Unfortunately, there is rain forecast every day this week, including a 90% chance on match day. Let’s hope the elements stay away long enough for a full contest.

VERDICT: South Africa 3/10
The Proteas have brought a powerful group in the batting department that should react more effectively to Bangladesh’s mentality of choking the run-rate. The bowling contingent might find life difficult but one has to believe that there is enough quality there, especially for a T20 contest, to come out on top. It’s been a fantastic few months for Bangladesh but this tour may constitute a crash back to earth.

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