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September 14, 2007
South Africa's top-order blitzed West Indies in the opening game of the tournament and won with plenty left in the tank. Given the fact that nothing rests on this match it could be worth giving some of the middle-order time in the middle in preparation for tighter situations later in the tournament. There will be at least one change with Herschelle Gibbs ruled out after picking up a leg injury against West Indies, but Graeme Smith is eager to play.
Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Ashraful were Bangladesh's stars against West Indies, showing the exuberance of youth which is currently driving the team to unprecedented success. South Africa's bowlers should provide a stern challenge, but there is no need for them to change their game.
South Africa's all-pace attack offers little variety and consideration will have to be given to finding room for the offspinner Thandi Tshabalala. He has had considerable success in the Pro20 and holds an average of 14.35 and economy of 6.52 runs per over.
As usual, Bangladesh's plans will revolve around their spinners but Syed Rasel and Mashrafe Mortaza will find conditions in Cape Town more to their liking. Rasel, especially, could be hard to score off with his wicket-to-wicket style and changes of pace.
Keep your eye on
The crowd. Locals should come out in force to support the home team and if it's anything like the atmosphere at the Wanderers everyone will have a terrific evening.
Graeme Smith is relieved he can still take part in the tournament, after copping a vicious blow on the right hand against West Indies. "I'm very, very lucky it's not broken. Now it's just about dealing with the pain and getting some power and strength back in the hand. I batted [in the nets] today and that was fine. It's important for me, as captain, to play."
Pitching it right
There was more pace and bounce on offer when England played Australia, and the Bangladeshis will be hoping the surface reverts to being slow and low otherwise they will struggle. The forecast is a little uncertain, with the chance of some rain drifting in.
South Africa (probable) Graeme Smith (capt), Gulam Bodi, AB de Villiers, Justin Kemp, Mark Boucher (wk), Shaun Pollock, Albie Morkel, Johan van der Wath Vernon Philander, Makhaya Ntini, Morne Morkel.
Bangladesh (probable) Tamim Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Aftab Ahmed, Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Shakib al Hasan, Alok Kapali, Farhad Reza, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mashrafe Mortaza, Syed Rasel, Abdur Razzak
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