South Africa have a chance to get two crucial points against Bangladesh after their opening game against Zimbabwe was washed out in Hobart. Bangladesh, with an important opening-match win under their belt, are just about confident enough to give them yet another headache.
Bangladesh beat Netherlands to notch up their first-ever win in the Super 12s stage of the tournament, majorly on the back of their fast bowlers. Bangladesh will be hoping to put up a similar performance against South Africa with the ball. Taskin Ahmed is in red-hot form, coming off his career-best figures of 4 for 25, while Hasan Mahmud, too, played a crucial role by picking up two wickets in four overs. Mustafizur Rahman was wicketless but economical, while Soumya Sarkar took one wicket.
Earlier this year, another Taskin big performance also came against South Africa. Back in March, his five-wicket haul led Bangladesh to a historic 2-1 ODI series win in Centurion, their first ever in South Africa against the home team.
However, the bowling attack needs support from their batters. In the first match, openers Soumya and Najmul Hossain Shanto gave Bangladesh their best start – 47 for 1 in the powerplay – since the T20 World Cup last year. While the middle order crumbled, Mosaddek Hossain chipped in at the end to take them to a competitive total. Against a South African bowling attack that has more variety, Bangladesh will need to do much better with the bat.
South Africa have “no regrets” about the Zimbabwe washout which saw them drop a point, and believe they are “still in control” of their destiny in the tournament.
They were on top of the situation before the rain stopped play in Hobart. Chasing a revised target of 64 in seven overs, they posted 51 for 0 in just three with Quinton de Kock blazing away to an unbeaten 47 off 18.
After a disappointing performance in the T20 World Cup 2021, where de Kock scored just 69 runs from four matches, he seems geared up to tee off this time. South Africa bowled well for most parts of their nine overs against Zimbabwe, with Lungi Ngidi taking two wickets. They also have a balanced line-up with Wayne Parnell adding a bit of all-round depth, but on a Sydney pitch offering help for spinners, South Africa might have to change their strategy a bit.
South Africa WLLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Taskin Ahmed will be expected to play a crucial role against South Africa•ICC/Getty Images
In the spotlight
Quinton de Kock signalled his intentions in his first go at this year’s T20 World Cup with a fiery 47 against Zimbabwe. It might not have amounted to the two points that South Africa desperately wanted, but it would have put Bangladesh’s bowlers on red alert.
Mosaddek Hossain has been a precious presence in Bangladesh’s floundering death-over batting. He has used his big-hitting to good effect despite having a bits-and-pieces role in T20Is. He has had several innings since September when he has shown willingness to go for the big runs, including his unbeaten 12-ball 20 against Netherlands. Mosaddek is also a gun fielder, and a handy offspinner, who took a five-for against Zimbabwe in July.
South Africa might drop one of the fast bowlers to bring in Tabraiz Shamsi, who could be handy at the SCG.
South Africa (probable): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Temba Bavuma (capt), 3 Rilee Rossouw, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 David Miller, 6 Tristan Stubbs, 7 Wayne Parnell, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje/Tabraiz Shamsi, 11 Lungi Ngidi
Bangladesh usually don’t change their winning combination but they might somehow try to accommodate Mehidy Hasan Miraz in the XI.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Soumya Sarkar, 2 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 3 Litton Das, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Afif Hossain, 6 Nurul Hasan (wk), 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Hasan Mahmud
Pitch and conditions
This match will be played on a new pitch that has a decent covering of grass but is expected to be reasonably dry.
The weather has been dry and warm in the lead-up but there’s some rain in the forecast for Thursday afternoon.
Stats and trivia
- Both South Africa and Bangladesh are set to play a T20I at the SCG for the first time.
- Bangladesh have never defeated South Africa in T20Is.
- South Africa became the eighth T20I team to reach their team fifty in three overs, in their previous game against Zimbabwe.
- Taskin, who took 4 for 25 against Netherlands, had previous best figures of 2 for 12 in T20Is.
“(Taskin) is one of the leaders now after Mashrafe’s exit. He has done tremendously well in the last two years for Bangladesh. He is leading by example. We have a very good fast-bowling group in all three formats. I can’t be more proud of how they improved themselves and have come this far, and it is showing in the results. I hope they continue this form in this World Cup.”
Shakib Al Hasan when asked about Taskin Ahmed’s form