Bangladesh confirmed their rise as a major force in 50 overs cricket when they thrashed South Africa by 9 wickets in the third One-Day International at Chittagong to claim a 2-1 series victory.
It was their first ever series victory over the Proteas in any format.
Bangladesh have now won four home series in a row against Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India and now South Africa, winning 12 out of 14 ODIs in the process. In addition, they beat England at the ICC World Cup earlier this year and took New Zealand right down to the wire in the same tournament.
The fact that they beat South Africa by 7 wickets in one match and by 9 wickets in the next shows just how dominant they have been in the latter part of this series.
Their bowlers again dominated the South African top order up front as they restricted South Africa to a total of 168/9 in a game reduced to 40 overs after a rain interruption and then coasted to victory with 83 balls to spare.
Man of the match, Soumya Sarkar, finished with 90 (75 minutes, 13 fours and a six) while Tamim Iqbal contributed 61 (77 balls, 7 fours). Their partnership of 154 was a Bangladesh record for any wicket against South Africa.
The Proteas once again struggled up front against the impressive Bangladesh seamers after winning the toss and batting first for the second match in a row. This is something that has been occurring for some time and they are no longer getting the good starts that used to be supplied either by Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla or by Amla and Rilee Rossouw.
De Kock has been going through an extended slump while Amla is also experiencing an unusual lean spell, having failed to pass a half-century in his last seven innings. The middle-order have not been able to repair the damage apart from the odd exceptions and this has been born out not only by their two low totals here but also by their defeats at the World Cup against India and Pakistan.
The fact is that the Proteas only scored five centuries at the World Cup and four of those came against Zimbabwe and Ireland.
Today the Proteas lost 4 for 50 in 15 overs and one ball, leaving David Miller and JP Duminy to rebuild the innings. The weather interruption that reduced the match to 40 overs per side could not have come at a worse time for the Proteas (78 for four in 23 overs) as the two batsmen were just starting to get the innings going and had pushed the run rate up towards four to the over.
With 17 overs left when play resumed the Proteas simply did not have enough specialist batsmen in hand in spite of the best efforts of Miller (44 off 51 balls, 5 fours) and Duminy (51 off 70, 3 fours). Once Miller and Ferhaan Behardien were dismissed, Duminy was left to play a lone hand and the fact that they finished nine wickets down, having scored 90 runs off the last 102 runs meant they got virtually no bonus benefit from the Duckworth/Lewis Method.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
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