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Luus, Niekerk fifties hand South Africa unassailable lead

South Africa 169 for 4 (Luss 71, van Niekerk 66) beat Bangladesh 137 for 5 (Shamima 50, Hoque 37) by 32 runs

Half-centuries from allrounders Sune Luus and Dane van Niekerk helped South Africa take an unassailable 2-0 lead over Bangladesh in the three-match T20I series. The 32-run win in Bloemfontein put the hosts one victory shy of another clean-sweep, having claimed the ODI series 5-0.

Bangladesh had started positively in this game with the wicket of the in-form opener Lizelle Lee off the second ball of the match. Left-arm spinner Nahida Akter removed Lee for 4 - her lowest and only sub-30 score since the start of the ODI series - before medium-pacer Panna Ghosh dismissed Lee's opening partner, debutant Tamzin Brits, for 10.

Bangladesh's early strikes, which reduced South Africa to 35 for 2 inside the Powerplay, were negated by a 96-run stand between Luus and Van Niekerk for the third wicket. The duo struck 20 fours and a six and helped propel South Africa to 169 for 4. Van Niekerk finished on 66 off 42 balls while Luus fell off the penultimate ball of the innings for a 57-ball 71 - her highest T20I score.

Bangladesh were teetering on 21 for 2 after 3.5 overs of the chase. Marizanne Kapp struck with her fourth ball to dismiss opener Sanjida Islam for a duck; Shabnim Ismail, meanwhile, accounted for Rumana Ahmed. But halfway through the chase, Bangladesh were 74 for 2 and had reduced the equation to 96 needed from 60 balls.

A 77-run stand between Shamima Sultana and Fargana Hoque for the third wicket anchored the innings, before Ismail dismissed Hoque. Sultana motored on to notch up Bangladesh's maiden individual T20I fifty off only 39 balls, but she faced three more deliveries without scoring a run before being bowled. Of the 57 runs required off the last 18 balls, the visitors managed only 24. Bangladesh finished on 137 for 5 - their highest total in T20Is.