After Bangladesh won the opening match of their series with South Africa, only for the hosts to level it up with a win in the second game, the two sides will battle it out in a deciding clash in Centurion on Wednesday for all the marbles.
The series in itself doesn’t mean much but the World Cup qualifying points it carries means a lot more, especially to South Africa who are nowhere near qualifying automatically for the 50 over jamboree next year and need these points.
I think it is fair to say South Africa will have been disappointed with how they went in the opening game in the series. Being disappointed with a performance is fine as long as you put it right next time out and to their credit that is exactly what the Proteas did. They got on top of Bangladesh early and never really relented their grip on the match. Conditions were very much in their favour in Johannesburg. That is fine but you still have to exploit that and South Africa did.
If there is a concern that is beginning to form within this Proteas side it would be in the death bowling. They got carted in the opening game of the series at the death and even some lower order players prospered against them in the last game. That is something they’ll be looking to address both in this match and series to come. They did look much better with the bat in the previous game which will be a positive.
It is a weird one with Bangladesh because you would have expected them to struggle in the first game of the series having not had a warm up match and then got better in the second game but they were almost perfect in the opener and no better than ordinary in the latest outing. I think the extra bounce that comes at The Wanderers caught their batters out early doors and while they have to be given credit for trying to rebuild into a competitive position, they couldn’t quite get there.
Bangladesh will be much happier being back here in Centurion. Not only have they already won a match here but they won’t be as alarmed by the bounce in this pitch. In fact, this wicket will suit their own bowling attack much more. We saw what can happen when they build a platform with the bat in the opening match of the series and that will be the challenge for their top order here. I expect Bangladesh to be tough to beat in this one.
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South Africa will be forced into one change with Wayne Parnell having been ruled out of this one. Marco Jansen is the most likely replacement for him. The good news for the home side is the hand injury to Temba Bavuma will not keep their captain out of this one.
Bangladesh were unsure whether they would have Shakib Al Hasan available but the good news is that he has remained in South Africa and will play. That could see the tourists name an unchanged side despite their defeat in Johannesburg.
I think these two sides are a lot closer matched than the margin of victory in Johannesburg suggested. Conditions there just didn’t suit Bangladesh at all but we’ve already seen that they do here and while I wouldn’t say with certainty that Bangladesh will win this match, I certainly think they can handle themselves well enough to stay close and cover what is a large looking handicap against a side who blow far too hot and cold for my liking.
South Africa are not exactly known for handling themselves well under pressure and were Bangladesh to bat first and put a decent total up like they did in the opening match then it would be no surprise to see the Proteas squeezed and fail to get over the line. If they do get over the line you’ve got to think it is hard to believe they’ll do it only four down. Bangladesh will be much more likely to chase a total close in my eyes so I’ll take Bangladesh on the handicap here with a smaller bet on them to win at 4/1.
Back Bangladesh to beat South Africa for a 1/10 stake at 5.00 with Betfair
Back them here:
Back Bangladesh (+5.5wickets/31.5runs) to beat South Africa for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with Bet365