After their shock defeat in the opening match in Centurion, SA levelled the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh, bouncing back in emphatic style with a win by seven wickets in the second match at the Wanderers on Sunday.
Bangladesh paid for a top-order collapse, recovering to a low 194/9 in their 50 overs. SA comfortably knocked out that total with 11.4 overs to spare, reaching 195/3 in 37.2 overs.
Bangladesh had a glorious opportunity to take an unassailable lead and win their first series in SA. But their decision to bat first at the Wanderers proved to be an ill-fated one as the tourists were reduced to 33/3 after the first 10 overs.
Their top order batting was woeful and ultimately their downfall.
They lost wickets at regular intervals as their middle order offered some resistance and added respectability to the total.
The subcontinent side are an exciting ODI unit in their home conditions but had no answers to the pace and bounce at Wanderers.
Kagiso Rabada produced his second-best ODI bowling figures and second career five-wicket haul as he finished with 5-39 runs in his 10 overs.
Rabada’s previous best bowling performance came against Bangladesh on his debut in Mirpur in July 2015, conceding just 16 runs for his six wickets, SA’s second-best ODI bowling performance.
With the series on the line, the Proteas made three changes from the team that lost the first match by 39 runs on Friday.
Off-form Aiden Markram was finally dropped as Quinton de Kock returned from illness to take his place; Andile Phehlukwayo made way for Wayne Parnell and Tabraiz Shamsi replaced Marco Jansen.
Parnell bowled just 2.5 overs before he hobbled off with a hamstring problem.
Rabada was assisted by strike partner Lungi Ngidi, who got a wicket and conceded 34 runs in his 10 overs.
Rassie van der Dussen bowled a single over and nabbed his first ODI wicket while Parnell and Shamsi chipped in with a wicket each.
Bangladesh got off to the worst possible start and found themselves five wickets down in the 13th over as the top five wilted for 1, 15, 0, 11 and 2.
They were saved by their lower order as Afif Hossain top-scored with a brisk 72 while Mahmudullar (25) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (38) helped give Bangladesh something to bowl at.
SA made light work of the chase as they cantered to victory.
Openers De Kock and Janneman Malan put on 72 runs for the first 10 overs.
De Kock smashed the bowlers from the first ball, as Bangladesh got their breakthrough in the 13th over when Malan made a poor decision to sweep on the leg side and was bowled to leave SA on 86/1.
Kyle Verreynne came to the crease and two balls later De Kock lost his wicket as he was caught on the rope trying to slog-sweep and walked for a well-played 62 from 40 balls.
In came captain Temba Bavuma and together with Verreynne steered SA to a series-levelling win ahead of Wednesday’s decider at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Bavuma and Verreynne were stylish in their approach as they combined for an 82-run partnerships from 101 balls to steady the chase and SA were in a commanding position, even after the former’s dismissal for 31 to leave them on 176/3 in the 33rd over.
Wicketkeeper Verreynne came in at first drop and showed he can play in this star-studded top order solely as a batter. Verreynne hardly broke a sweat as he raced to his fourth ODI half-century.
Rassie van der Dussen scored the winning runs as SA chased down 195 with 72 deliveries remaining, with Verreynne unbeaten on 58 from 77 balls at the other end.
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