DHAKA: Skipper Faf du Plessis scored an unbeaten half century to set up a crushing 52-run win for South Africa over Bangladesh in the first T20I in Dhaka on Sunday.
Du Plessis helped the visitors recover from a shaky start with an unbeaten 79 off 61 balls, his sixth half-century in T20I.
Off-spinner JP Duminy (2-11), medium pacer David Wiese (2-12) and fast bowler Kagiso Rabada (2-28) then put in a combined effort to dismiss Bangladesh for just 96 on a slow wicket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Shakib alHasan was the only batsman to offer some kind of resistance with 26 off 30 balls while debutante Litton Das made 22 off 33.
Du Plessis said he was happy to play the match-winning knock on a difficult wicket. “It’s a knock that you’d like to play as a batsman,” he said after the game. “Not the easiest wicket, not a flat T20 wicket; had to graft a lot. The ball was spinning and staying low, we just needed a partnership, and Rilee [Rossouw] played really well. That was the match-winning partnership.”
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza promised to improve their batting in the second match. “I think [our] batsmen played too many shots, but we can fix it,” he said. “It’s not too much of a worry the way they are batting. We’ll be back in the next match.”
The second and final match of the two-match series will be held at the same grounds on Tuesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2015.
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