After four weeks of mostly woeful cricket, Bangladesh finally showed some fight in the first T20I although they still lost the game by 20 runs. South Africa were thankful that some of their fringe performers came to the fore, notably their fast bowlers, and for the late impetus provided by Farhaan Behardien.
In an ironic twist, Bangladesh had hit more boundaries (21) than South Africa (20) on Thursday, but Andile Phehlukwayo, Robbie Frylinck, Dane Paterson and Beuran Hendricks managed to offset that by stringing together a lot of dot balls - 52 in total. An inexperienced bowling attack came under fire but did quite well to withstand it.
Bangladesh's spinners performed just as well, especially Mehidy Hasan, who was instrumental in ensuring South Africa were kept to under 200. The skill he showed to dismiss a rampaging AB de Villiers, refusing him the room to free the arms, or the length to get under the ball should give Bangladesh some hope. But they need their batsmen to step up, especially the seniors. Otherwise they run the risk of returning home empty handed.
South Africa: WLWLW
In the spotlight
Robbie Frylinck's two wickets in his international debut should have come as a relief, having made his debut at the age of 33. One of them was Shakib Al Hasan's who had just struck him for two fours. South Africa would be hoping Frylinck keeps his nerve if similar situations arise in the second game.
Soumya Sarkar finally showed some spark on this tour of South Africa, although some may argue he has come to the party far too late. Still through his quickfire 47, the opener showed why Bangladesh's team management trusts him so much.
South Africa may keep their winning combination going, but considering they had earmarked the T20Is as a means to test the mettle of their fringe players, wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle, fast bowler Dwaine Pretorius and left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi might still make the XI.
South Africa (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk)/ Mangaliso Mosehle, 2 Hashim Amla, 3 AB de Villiers, 4 JP Duminy (capt), 5 David Miller, 6 Farhaan Behardien, 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Robbie Frylinck, 9 Dane Paterson/ Dwaine Pretorius, 10 Beuran Hendricks, 11 Aaron Phangiso/ Tabraiz Shamsi
Liton Das or Nasir Hossain is likely to play after the BCB president Nazmul Hassan said they are likely to add an extra batsman to the line-up on Friday.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Imrul Kayes, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 6 Mahmudullah 7 Nasir Hossain/Taskin Ahmed, 8 Mehidy Hasan, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Shafiul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain
Pitch and conditions
The first Test was held in Potchefstroom, which produced a lot of runs but also afforded a bit of turn. Conditions are expected to be similar for the T20I, with weather being forecast as dry.
Stats and trivia
Farhaan Behardien hasn't been dismissed in his last three innings against Bangladesh, though he has made only 76 runs.
This will be the first T20 international held in Potchefstroom.