Bangladesh 278/7 (50 ovs)
Mushfiqur Rahim’s fifth ODI century propelled Bangladesh to their best ever total against the Proteas in the first Momentum One-Day International in Kimberley on Sunday.
Mushfiqur has been under enormous pressure on this tour having made two poor decisions after winning the toss in the Test series and then questioned his own team management, the Bangladesh Cricket Board and his own players following the Test series defeat in Bloemfontein last week.
But freed of the captaincy in the limited overs side, Mushfiqur played with panache, to delight of the many Bangladeshi fans who trekked to the Northern Cape capital.
It was a well crafted knock, that not only as it held his team’s innings together, but contained sufficient, well-executed strokeplay that it kept the tourists scoring rate ticking over.
The rest of the batting order failed to provide sufficient support on what appeared a good one-day surface, although the pace was perhaps a touch slow.
The tourists again won the toss, although this time, one-day captain, Mashrafe Mortaza, unlike Mushfiqur in the Tests chose to bat. However in doing that, it went against history at the Diamond Oval, where teams chasing have won nine out of the previous 12 matches there.
Still, having made that call the Bangladeshis played reasonably well, eschewing any adventure against the aggressive Kagiso Rabada, they instead targeted debutant Dane Paterson, taking 34 runs off his first four overs including 15 off the fourth over of that opening spell.
The first wicket of the innings went Rabada’s way with Liton Das edging the ball towards second slip where Faf du Plessis took an excellent catch diving forward.
The returning Shakib Al-Hasan, who missed the Tests because he wanted to rest, was elevated to no.3 in the order, but he was never able to get on top of the South African bowlers.
Imrul Kayes was dismissed caught down the leg-side off Dwaine Pretorius, which brought Mushfiqur to the crease and he and Shakib sought to build a foundation, sharing a stand of 59 in 12 overs.
Shakib, who went passed 5000 ODI runs when he reached 17, then fell to a wonderful piece of bowling from Imran Tahir, edging a googly to Hashim Amla at slip - reward for good captaincy from Du Plessis - after scoring 29.
The aggressive Mahmudullah scored a run-a-ball 26, that included a thunderous six over midwicket off Rabada.
All the while Mushfiqur built his innings running well between the wickets and taking advantage when South Africa erred in length - which was often as the short ball was over-used - and line particularly Paterson.
Mushfiqur reached his century with an easy drive through the covers and eventually finished the innings unbeaten on 110 off 166 balls with 11 fours and two sixes.
Sabbir Rahman (19 off 21 balls) and debutant Mohammad Saifuddin (16 off 11 balls) made some useful contributions late on, as Bangladesh scored 76 runs off the last 10 overs.
Rabada with 4/43 was the best of the South African bowlers, with Tahir (1/45) and Pretorius (2/48) providing good support. It was a debut Paterson will want to forget as the Cape Cobras bowler struggled with his line and length and conceded 69 runs in nine overs with nine fours and three sixes coming off his bowling.