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Shakib, Sarkar lead Bangladesh to historic series win

Home team cruises home by nine wickets in truncated third ODI in Chittagong

Shakib, Sarkar lead Bangladesh to historic series win - Cricket News
Bangladesh scripted history on Wednesday (July 15) by beating South Africa by nine wickets in a truncated fixture in Chittagong to take the three-match series 2-1.

In a belligerent batting effort, openers Tamim Iqbal (61 not out) and Soumya Sarkar (90) turned the chase of 169 into a cruise. They put together 154 in 24.4 overs as Bangladesh crossed the line with 83 balls to spare.

The match was reduced to 40 overs after a heavy downpour resulted in over two hours being lost nearly halfway into the South African innings. Shakib Al Hasan returned figures of 3 for 33 in eight overs as the visitors, who resumed after the rain interruption at 78 for 4 in 23 overs, was restricted to 168 for 9.

During the course of his spell, Shakib became only the seventh cricketer, after Shahid Afridi, Sanath Jayasuriya, Jacques Kallis, Abdul Razzaq, Chris Harris and Chris Cairns, to achieve the ODI double of 4000 runs and 200 wickets.

The pace duo of Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain also got onto the scorecard by picking up two wickets apiece.

That South Africa had some sort of a score to defend was mainly due to the efforts of David Miller, who got some quick runs against the spinners by employing the sweep shot to good effect. He hit five fours in his 51-ball 44 before his stay was ended courtesy a brilliant catch by Sabbir Rahman.

The onus then fell on JP Duminy to steer the innings towards respectability. That he did, despite wickets falling around him, to put together a fighting 51 that formed the bedrock of the innings. He was also the last man to fall when Rubel had him caught by Litton Das to finish a fantastic first half at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

Although the outfield had slowed down considerably, the rain factor had been taken out of the equation by the effervescence of Bangladesh's stroke play as Sarkar continued from where he left off in Mirpur. He took a special liking to Kagiso Rabada, who earlier in the series became the first bowler in ODI history to register a hat-trick on debut on his way to unreal figures of 6 for 16.

Rabada, who conceded 41 in six wicketless overs, was replaced by Morne Morkel, brought in for Chris Morris. He would also be punished as Sarkar used the depth of the crease to counter the extra bounce and continue his run-glut.

At the other end, the normally aggressive Tamim was happy to play second fiddle and enjoy the best seat in the house. Sarkar, who hit 13 fours and six, raced away to 90 off 74 balls, before thoughts of a second ODI century did him in as he fell to Imran Tahir.

Tamim raised his fifty before Litton Das hit the winning runs off Tahir to trigger wild celebrations in the Bangladesh camp.

It was its first series win over South Africa and its fourth successive series win. It beat Zimbabwe and Pakistan on either side of a memorable World Cup campaign, where it reached the quarterfinals. 

Last month, it beat a strong Indian side 2-1 before getting the better of South Africa. Along the way, it also secured a berth in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy to be played in England.

To view full scorecard, please click here.

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