After being blown away in the two-Test series, Bangladesh, buoyed by the arrival of Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan, will look to bounce back in the ODI series. The task, however, is not going to be easy against the hosts, who themselves will be strengthened by the return of AB de Villiers.
Also making a return to the side is JP Duminy, who had called time on his Test career last month. There is more firepower in the South Africa middle order in the form of David Miller, who is set to play his 100th ODI on Sunday.
In his last five appearances at the Diamond Oval, Miller has struck three hundreds, including a career-best 177 off 195 balls for Knights against Lions last season and 123 off 86 balls in a one-dayer against the same opponents earlier this year.
Things do not bode well for Bangladesh, who are still smarting from the hammering in the Test series – and lost Mustafizur Rahman on the eve of the match to injury. What bodes well for the visitors is that Shakib made an instant impact after joining the side, scoring 68 off 67 balls in the warm-up match on Thursday. Mushfiqur Rahim was critical of the bowlers in the Test series, but the batsmen must also take responsibility if they are to challenge Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.
South Africa LLWWL (completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
After missing batting opportunities in the Test series, Quinton de Kock will be looking forward to returning to the top and scoring big in the ODI series. He has been impressive in ODIs this year, with two of his six fifties coming in his last five ODI innings.
If there’s one man who can change the mood in the Bangladesh camp, it’s Mashrafe Mortaza. He is the second highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh this year with 13 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 34.07 and economy rate of 5.27.
There may not be places for Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien and newcomer Dane Paterson in the XI with Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo likely to be picked ahead of them.
South Africa (probable): 1 Hashim Amla, 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Faf du Plessis (capt), 4 JP Duminy, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 David Miller, 7 Wayne Parnell, 8 Dwaine Pretorius, 9 Andile Phehlukwayo, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 Imran Tahir
Tamim Iqbal, who had been ruled out of the second Test due to a thigh injury, batted in the nets on Friday, and has an outside chance of making the XI on Sunday. If Tamim isn’t fit, Bangladesh have top-order options in Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, and Mominul Haque. However, there are other questions for the management: If Liton is picked, then will he keep wicket or Mushfiqur? Will Mominul keep Kayes out of the XI? Will they pick Mohammad Saifuddin, who is uncapped in ODIs, ahead of Taskin Ahmed? That last question may not need answering after Mustafizur was ruled out with a twisted ankle.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Soumya Sarkar, 2 Liton Das, 3 Imrul Kayes/Mominul Haque, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Sabbir Rahman, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Rubel Hossain
Pitch and conditions
The pitches at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley are generally flatter than the ones Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein. In List A matches played this year, the average score batting first at this venue is 259, with four out of six matches won by the team batting first. It is set to be a hot day – around 30 degrees celcius – with no chance of rain.
Stats and trivia
- David Miller is set to be the 22nd South African to 100 ODIs
- Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman are 41 and 90 runs away from reaching 1000 runs in ODIs
- The last ODI held in Kimberley was in 2013
“The last time South Africa went to Bangladesh they lost; no one expected them to lose, but it’s not like everything fell apart for them.”
Shakib Al Hasan compares Bangladesh’s current plight in South Africa to South Africa’s in Bangladesh in 2015
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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