Bangladesh will face upper hand South Africa in the first Twenty20 International match of their two-match NPOLY National Polymer T20I Cricket Series at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.
The match will start 1:00 pm Bangladesh time.
The Proteas began their five-week long tour campaign giving a strong warning to the Bangladesh national side as they notched an eight-wicket victory over BCB XI in the only T20 practice match at Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium, Fatulla on Friday.
Though South Africa officially lost two wickets to end the chase, the BCB XI conceded a 10-wicket defeat as their bowlers were unsuccessful to claim any wicket in that only practice match of this tour.
South Africa are on their first bilateral tour of Bangladesh since 2008, first tour ever since following their semi-final exit in the recently concluded World Cup.
Although they have been here in Bangladesh for the 2011 World Cup and 2014 World T20, the last encounter between the two sides was in 2011, when Bangladesh were bowled out for 78 and suffered a humiliating exit from the World Cup.
Bangladesh won in just 12 out of 42 games, but the Tigers are in a fruitful tempo as they beat Pakistan by 7 wickets in the only T20I on April 24 before whitewashed them 3-0 for the first time and registered first ever series victory over giant India 2-0 with their 10th successive ODI victory at home.
This time Bangladesh have to battle hard as the World Cup semi-finalists South Africa have a tremendous dominant record against Bangladesh in all the three formats of cricket against Bangladesh.
Bangladesh lost all the eight Test matches against South Africa, including seven by innings defeat, among 14 ODI tussles, Bangladesh won only one match against South Africa in 2007 ICC World Cup. In T20I, Bangladesh lost both matches.
Besides, the visitors are far ahead of Bangladesh in the ICC Ranking list in all three formats of cricket.
Bangladesh ranked 9th in the ICC Test ranking list while South Africa maintaining top slot.
The distance between two nations is comparatively closer in ICC ODI and T20I ranking as Bangladesh ranked 7th in ODI while South Africa 4th, in the T20I South Africa 6th and Bangladesh in 9th.
Despite this domination, Bangladesh national team head coach Chandika Hathurusingha does not want to believe on history as he said, “If I believed in history, I wouldn’t be here today, I don’t believe in history.”
“It is there to change……we are not a part of history, we are part of present,” the coach added.
Now, it time to see that how much confident and consistence the Tigers have for face the acid test.
Sohag Gazi will bowl with a new action after being cleared by the ICC in February. He has not racked up impressive numbers in the domestic game this year, but has been chosen in the T20 squad as an attacking option.
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha has said the bowlers will have to pray that AB de Villiers gets out early. It will be interesting to see whether he bats in the top-order, where he has not been a regular for much of his T20 international career.
Bangladesh are likely to keep Jubair Hossain, Rony Talukdar and Rubel Hossain in the bench, opting for two left-arm spinners and Sohag Gazi’s off-spin in their bowling attack.
South Africa could have AB de Villiers as an opener or number 3, according to skipper Faf du Plessis. The visitors could also employ a bit of extra pace in the form of Kagiso Rabada in Mirpur following as he impressed in the slow pitch of Fatullah.
The second T20I scheduled for Tuesday (July 7) at the same venue.
Apart from T20Is, the visitors will play three ODIs and two Test matches against Bangladesh in the five-week long full-fledged bilateral series. .
Bangladesh T20I Squad (probable): Tamim Iqbal, Litton Kumar Das, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Mustafizur Rahman and Arafat Sunny.
South Africa T20I Squad (probable): Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis (captain), David Miller, David Wiese, Wayne Parnell, Chris Morris, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada and Aaron Phangiso/Eddie Leie- UNB