History was written at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong where the hosts Bangladesh thumped a ferocious South Africa 2-1 in the 3-match ODI series. The dream run for the Bangladesh team continues as they whitewashed Pakistan 3-0, beat India 2-1 and now shatter the Proteas 2-1.
It is no fluke as all the three teams that Bangladesh played in the past few months are great one-day teams and were on tour in full strength. The performance by the Bangladeshis was truly supreme like the tiger. They were taking the attack on to the opposition and had the aggressiveness in their cricket.
Both teams entered the final ODI 1-1 and the decider was a rain-hit match which got altered to 40 overs a side. Batting first, South Africa could only manage a modest 168 although the pitch wasn’t the best tracking track we have seen. But the chase was made look so easy by the outstanding openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar. Sarkar made a match-winning 90 off just 75 balls whereas Tamim was the steady force with a great knock of 61 off 77 balls, to win the trophy for the hosts.
In the first ODI, South Africa had beaten Bangladesh by 8 wickets but a strong comeback by the Bangladesh team saw them seal the second ODI by 7 wickets. Soumya Sarkar was judged the man-of-the-match for his 90 and also the man-of-the-series for a tally of 205 runs in the series.
In the post-match presentation, Proteas captain Hashim Amla expressed his disappointment saying, “Very disappointed with the way we played. We didn’t read the pitch properly. It certainly got a lot easier after the rain break as the outfield got wet. We showed we are rusty, we didn’t play good cricket in the last couple of games. Bangladesh did and they deserve the win. Bangladesh have been playing good ODI cricket.”
Winning captain Mashrafe Mortaza was the happiest man on the planet as he expressed his joy saying, “It was a clinical performance. After losing the first game, it’s always difficult to come back, but the boys showed a lot of character and winning the next two. The boys took the loss very seriously and delivered brilliantly in the next two games. The way Soumo is batting, it was nice to see. Shakib always has produced great performances for us. Mustafizur is bowling well too. Tamim too played really well. Hopefully, the boys will take this form into the Tests and I want to thank South Africa as well, for playing some good cricket with us.”
Bangladesh has done the damage to the big teams. But the players are hungry for more. Don’t be surprised if you see them in the top 4-5 teams in the coming years!