South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has smashed an unbeaten 79 to lead his side to a comfortable 52-run win over Bangladesh in the first Twenty20 international.
His knock steered South Africa to a fighting 4-148 on Sunday, and the bowlers followed up in a disciplined manner to wrap up the Bangladesh innings for 96 in 18.5 overs.
“(Du Plessis) handled the spinners really well and played a superb knock,” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said.
“He played according to the behavior of the wicket.”
Du Plessis’ knock was complimented by Rilee Rossouw’s 31 not out on a slower surface where batting was difficult.
Bangladesh used spinners from both ends at the beginning and reaped the rewards with the big wicket of AB de Villiers who ended up offering a simple catch at cover, trying to force a shot on a length delivery off left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny.
Du Plessis initially struggled to keep the scoreboard ticking over and was dropped on 18 by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim off left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman’s delivery.
On a slower pitch he batted sensibly and hit just eight fours in his 61-ball knock.
Rilee Rossouw clattered two fours and as many sixes in his 21-ball 31 to accelerate the run rate at the death.
Arafat Sunny took 2-19 while Shakib Al Hasan picked up 1-24, making him Bangladesh’s highest T20 wicket-taker as he passed Abdur Razzak’s tally of 44 wickets.
South African fast bowlers Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada put the side in a dominant position, removing openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar in the first two overs.
But it was JP Duminy’s decisive bowling that jolted Bangladesh with 2-11 off four overs.
“The wicket was conducive to the spinners, and he put them under real pressure. It’s good when you have someone like JP who can chip in with the ball as well,” Du Plessis said of the allrounder.
Duminy, fast bowlers David Wiese and Kagiso Rabada claimed two wickets apiece to derail Bangladesh’s chase.
The second and final T20 match is on Tuesday in Dhaka.