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Five things that we learned from the Bangladesh series

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There were five things that stood out in Bangladesh’s series victory over the Proteas.

Dwaine Pretorius of South Africa threw away a good opportunity with poor execution with the bat. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

There were five things that stood out in Bangladesh’s series victory over the Proteas.

Centurion – Before the ODI series between Bangladesh and South Africa, cricket writer Stuart Hess highlighted five areas to watch.

Below he revisits those in the aftermath of the Tigers’ triumph at SuperSport in Centurion on Wednesday.

FIVE THINGS THAT STOOD OUT IN BANGLADESH’S SERIES VICTORY

PACE BOWLING

Taskin Ahmed fully deserved his player of series reward and as a result of his performance – finishing as leading wicket-taker with eight – helped Bangladesh to out-perform the South Africans in this category.

Mustafizur Rahman surprisingly went wicketless, while the other left-arm seamer, Shoriful Islam bowled a few impressive spells. Perhaps the most surprising aspect, was the impact of off-spinner Mehidy Hasan, something that infuriated Proteas coach Mark Boucher, who wanted his batters to be more proactive against the touring side’s spinners.

PROTEAS TOP ORDER

Half-centuries for Quinton de Kock and Kyle Verreynne in the second match weren’t enough to spur the Proteas to a series win. Janneman Malan got one good start in the last match but didn’t make it count.

Strangely Temba Bavuma after a successful series against India batting at No.3 shifted down to No.4 in the order. It didn’t work. He needs to get back to ‘first drop’ immediately.

Aiden Markram’s loss of form is a genuine concern, because his presence provides a sixth bowling option, something that nearly proved costly at the Wanderers. With the World Cup in India, the Proteas need to sort out a batter who can bowl spin to give the starting team balance.

THE SEAM BOWLING ALL-ROUNDERS

The selectors asked that someone put up their hand in this series, but no one did. Wayne Parnell was unfortunate to pick up a hamstring injury having started very well in the second match. Andile Phehlukwayo looks lost and perhaps the best thing for him is a spell at provincial level where he can find some consistency and confidence.

Dwaine Pretorius threw away a good opportunity with poor execution with the bat. So the door remains open for Sisanda Magala, who is in red-hot form for the Lions in the One-Day Cup. The concerns about his fitness need to be resolved.

SHAKIB AL-HASAN

Outstanding innings in the first match and played a crucial holding role with the ball over the three matches. It emerged after the second match that close family members of his were in hospital and afterwards, Bangladesh’s captain, Tamim Iqbal spoke glowingly of Shakib’s attitude within the change-room especially in light of what was happening back home with his family. At 35, he showed the he remains a match-winner and will be a central figure in the Tiger’s challenge at next year’s World Cup.

SUPER LEAGUE

Alarm bells are now ringing, Boucher said. Speaking before the final match of the series, Kyle Verreynne said, the Super League – which will determine the automatic qualifiers for the World Cup – hadn’t been a topic of conversation amongst the Proteas.

The players were aware of where the team stood on the log. That position remains outside of the top eight which means South Africa risks having to play a pre-tournament qualifier to make it into the World Cup.

“We are putting ourselves under pressure, but I suppose we’ve got to come to the party,” said Boucher.

@shockerhess

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