Tue 24 Oct 2017, 09:55
The Tigers face the Proteas in the first T20 International in Bloemfontein.
Catch the first KFC T20 International between South Africa and Bangladesh live from the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Thursday 26 October.
The Proteas will seek to maintain their solid vice grip over Bangladesh when the two countries resume battle in the first of two KFC T20 Internationals in the Free State capital on Thursday (18:00).
The hosts have totally outgunned the Tigers in both the Test and One Day International (ODI) formats -- more often than not at a canter -- but in this ‘hit or miss' version of the game, anything is possible.
The Proteas overhauled India as the top ODI team in the world following their series whitewash over the Tigers on home soil and would no doubt like to boost their T20 ranking.
They are currently sixth in the official ICC rankings, a slender three points ahead of Australia. The Asian visitors head into the two-match shootout in 10th place.
The South Africans have been on the right side of the ledger – both home and away -- on the four occasions they have met Bangladesh previously in T20 Internationals.
South Africa suffered a setback last weekend when captain Faf du Plessis, who took charge in all formats after AB de Villiers stood down as ODI skipper, was ruled out of the Series with a back injury. Fellow senior statesman JP Duminy was named as captain.
Although personal milestones were always secondary to the broader cause, Du Plessis was just a single victory away from the most wins as a Proteas T20 captain.
He is currently level with Graeme Smith on 18 victories in 38 matches, with a healthy win ratio of 58.06%.
While there is no shortage of pedigree and experience, the national selectors tend to use the T20 format to rest key players, develop depth and reward domestic form.
To this end the likes of Dane Paterson, Beuran Hendricks, Robbie Frylinck, Mangaliso Moshele, Aaron Phangiso and Tabraiz Shamsi will all get a look in.
Bangladesh has ventured out of their sub-continental comfort zone where they performed well in recent months and had to endure a punishing tour and a sequence of demoralising defeats.
Their misery was compounded by the loss of Tamim Iqbal to injury, while the loss of left arm quick and leading wicket taker Mustafizur Rahman has left the Tigers with additional bowling challenges.
The smart money is predictably on South Africa, but as Proteas batting consultant Neil McKenzie put it: “You can only play as well as the opposition allow you to play.”
SA v Bangladesh: T20 International Records
Total Matches: Four. SA Won: Four
First Match: SA won by seven wickets – Cape Town - Sept 2007
Last Match: SA won by 31 runs – Mirpur – July 2015
Sept 15 2007 – Cape Town – SA won by 7 wickets
Nov 5 2008 – Johannesburg – SA won by 12 runs
July 5 2015 -- Dhaka - SA won by 52 runs
July 7 2015 – Mirpur – SA won by 31 runs.
SA – T20 Record (Overall):
Matches: 91 - Won: 54. Lost: 36. Tied: 0. NR: 1. Percentage Won: 60%
Bangladesh T20 Record (Overall):
Matches: 46 – Won 13. Lost 32. Tied 0. NR 1. Percentage Won: 28.88%
(Statistics – Andrew Samson – Cricket South Africa)
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By Trevor Cramer