Rumana Ahmed and Fargana Hoque fought hard but Shabnim Ismail’s three-wicket burst helped hosts go 1-0 up in three-match series.
Good hands from Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt and Shabnim Ismail’s three-for helped South Africa Women beat Bangladesh Women by 17 runs in the first of three Twenty20 Internationals in Kimberley on Thursday 17 May.
Chasing 128 runs for victory after South Africa won the toss and finished at 127/6, Bangladesh managed only 110/5 in their 20 overs.
Bangladesh got off to a stuttering start as they lost their openers, Sanjida Islam and Shamima Sultana, inside the first five overs. While Islam was caught by Masabata Klaas off Raisibe Ntozakhe, Ismail had Sultana caught by Wolvaardt to reduce the visitors to 14/2.
Thereafter, a partnership of 72 runs between Rumana Ahmed (36) and Fargana Hoque stabilised the Bangladesh innings and took them some distance towards the target.
But after Ahmed's departure, things went downhill for Bangladesh, only Fahima Khatun adding 12 unbeaten runs from 13 balls towards the end. South Africa conceded only 24 runs off the last four overs to seal the win.
Ismail returned 3/19, while Ntozakhe and Klaas picked up one wicket each for South Africa.
Earlier, Lee (46) and Wolvaardt (30) did the early running for South Africa, and a quick 23-ball 28* from Sune Luus provided the late boost to the innings.
There was a mini-collapse for South Africa after the openers were gone, as Bangladesh picked up three wickets in quick succession. Captain Chloe Tyron, debutant Stacey Lackay and Mignon du Preez were dismissed between overs 11 and 13 as South Africa slid to 86/5.
However, Luus combined with Marizanne Kapp (11) to add 27 runs for the sixth wicket to take South Africa to a decent total. Khadija Tul Kubra picked up 3/23 for Bangladesh while Salma Khatun had one wicket to her name.
South Africa, who won the preceding one-day international series 5-0, play the next T20I against Bangladesh on 19 May in Bloemfontein.