The basic difference between the first two ODIs was early wickets. In the 1st game, South Africa pacers toiled but could not find an early breakthrough that eventually led to the home side conceding a mammoth total. In the second ODI, Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada were completely different animals as they wrecked the Bangladesh top order and set the tone for the rest of the innings as well as the match.
Rabada, in particular, was excellent, picking three wickets in his opening spell before returning at the death to pick up two more – especially of set batsmen.
The 195-run target was not going to trouble the Proteas batters, and it didn’t. With the target so small, the batters, too, seemed completely transformed. All of the top four got runs, with Quinton de Kock top scoring with 62 and Kyle Verreynne contributing an unbeaten 58 as South Africa got home with more than 12 overs to spare.
All of the good that had helped Bangladesh win the first ODI turned into bad in the second ODI. The top order that had worked like a charm in the series opener fell like a house of cards, and that precisely is what proved to be the difference.
The Tigers, at one point, were reeling at 34 for 5 before Afif Hossain (72) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (38) stabilised the ship somewhat. The eventually managed 194 – a fraction of the total they had managed in the 1st ODI. The bowlers had no hope so it resulted in a seven-wicket defeat.
A good news for Bangladesh is that their star allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has decided against leaving the team despite a family emergency back home in Bangladesh. He will be available for the third ODI.
One big positive for Bangladesh is that this game will be played in Centurion – the same venue where they upset South Africa in the series opener.