Quinton de Kock smashed 59 as South Africa posted 195-4 in the first T20I in Bloemfontein. JON CARDINELLI reports.
The platform was set by the top-order batsmen – Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers in particular – who hit 65 runs in the Powerplay. De Villiers hammered the hapless Shafiul Islam for 18 runs in the sixth over, and at that stage the Proteas looked destined for a total in excess of 230.
The Bangladesh spinners did well to slow the scoring rate. De Villiers was on the verge of a well-deserved 50 when he attempted to hit Mehedi Hasan for six straight off the wicket. The catch was pouched in the deep and so the danger man had to depart for 49 off 21 balls.
De Kock proceeded to reach his 50 with a big six. The left-hander took just 35 balls to bring up his half-century. His luck ran out, however, when he was struck on the pad and dismissed by the umpire.
The Proteas went into the final four overs with 144 runs on the board. David Miller and Farhaan Behardien battled to find the fence as the innings raced to a climax.
That was until Behardien hit Taskin Ahmed for a six off the final ball of the 18th over. The Proteas started to build momentum. The Tigers battled to hit the right areas and were duly punished as South Africa finished just short of 200.
Bangladesh will need to score at nearly 10 runs per over to win this game.
SA 195-4 (20 overs) – Quinton de Kock 59, AB de Villiers 49, Farhaan Behardien 36 not out, Mehedi Hasan 2-31
Bangladesh need 196 runs to win
Photo: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images