Chittagong, Bangladesh (BBN)-Two one-sided matches, with the teams batting first folding for similar scores and losing by big margins, have given the third ODI at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium the status of a final.
After their seven-wicket win in the second game, Bangladesh could not have found a better time to discover a way to beat South Africa, reports ESPNcricinfo.
Sunday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium was only the second time Bangladesh defeated South Africa at the international stage.
It was a clinical performance from the home bowlers, who teamed up well under Mashrafe Mortaza to bowl out South Africa under 200.
The visitors had dished out a similar meal in the first ODI when Kagiso Rabada took a hat-trick in his six-for on ODI debut.
With both teams getting bowled out in the 160s in the first two games, the pitch in Mirpur was questioned. Some players said it was two-paced, but it was actually not any different from how it usually is.
In Chittagong, however, the wicket is likely to be flatter and better for batting, which would mean a lot of the onus will be on the side batting first.
South Africa chased well in the first game but looked slightly directionless in the second, partly due to AB de Villiers’ absence.
The visitors had eight partnerships between 16 and 29 on Sunday, but none of them kicked on to define the innings. Three batsmen – Faf du Plessis, David Miller and JP Duminy – got out softly in their attempt to chip the bowler.
Bangladesh had their own batting troubles, but Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah calmly guiding them to the win that gave Mashrafe and Chandika Hathurusingha momentary relief.
The decider could go either way as the visitors have lost some of the momentum and lustre from the first three games on this tour.
SOUTH AFRICA: LWLWW
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Soumya Sarkar batted with ease after battling an initial rough period in the second ODI. With constant talk about his irregularity in converting good starts, he will have a big role to play in the decider.
Hashim Amla has not had a longer fifty-less streak in ODIs in the last seven years than his current run of six games. Wednesday could be the occasion to break the streak.
The win on Sunday could keep Bangladesh unchanged, but a more positive mentality could bring the discussion of an extra bowler into the fray.
BANGLADESH (POSSIBLE): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Litton Das, 4 Mahmudullah, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim, 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Sabbir Rahman, 8 Nasir Hossain, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
South Africa do not have a spare batsman, so their current top seven will have to make amends for Sunday’s failure. They are likely to trust the same bowling attack.
SOUTH AFRICA (POSSIBLE): 1 Hashim Amla (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis, 4 Rilee Rossouw, 5 David Miller, 6 JP Duminy 7 Farhaan Behardien, 8 Chris Morris, 9 Kyle Abbott, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Imran Tahir
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
There is not much a difference between the pitches across Bangladesh, so the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium will be expected to favour batsmen and spinners. The average score batting first is 260-plus. There is a 50% chance of shower on match day.
STATS AND TRIVIA
Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and bowling coach Charl Langeveldt played South Africa’s only game at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Hometown boy Tamim Iqbal has the most runs (391) at this ground, while Shakib Al Hasan has the most wickets (27).
“This (decider) is big no doubt because we haven’t achieved such things before. Whenever you go to achieve something you haven’t then it will obviously seem big. We haven’t beaten South Africa in a series before so this is a big deal.”
SHAKIB AL HASAN