Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
South Africa leg-spinner Eddie Leie had a debut to remember as he took three wickets to not only lead the Proteas to a 31-run win over Bangladesh in the second Twenty20 International, but also help them complete a 2-0 series whitewash.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis would have been delighted with his decision to bat first as AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock amassed a 95-run partnership before they were dismissed for 40 and 44 respectively, along with Jean-Paul (JP) Duminy and du Plessis himself.
However, a quickfire 30 from David Miller and 19 from Rilee Rossouw saw South Africa finish on 169/4 off their 20 overs.
Nasir Hossain was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Arafat Sunny and Mustafizur Rahman chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 170 to win, Bangladesh opener Soumya Sarkar was the only batsman to make a valuable contribution with 37, while the rest of the line-up failed to get past 25 runs due to Leie, Aaron Phangiso and Kyle Abbott.
As a result, Bangladesh ended up falling well short of their target and losing the series 2-0.
Leie, Phangiso and Abbott snapped up three wickets apiece, while Wayne Parnell claimed one.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was disappointed to have lost, and said: “There are some positives. And we have to learn from our mistakes too. It was an off day as a fielding ground. So hopefully we’ll come back in the one-dayers. After the start, we lost too many wickets. But we haven’t played too many T20s recently. Not an excuse. We just have to improve. We’ve just been concentrating on ODIs and Tests. As a professional team though, we have to come and perform. We have to fight. We couldn’t fight here at all. Hopefully that changes.”
Du Plessis, who was named Man of the Series, was delighted to have whitewashed Bangladesh 2-0, and said: “They were much better in putting up a fight. Our boys played a great two-match series. In tough conditions, we batted really well and we bowled really well too. Banana on the outfield for Kyle Abbott. At the end of the day, they don’t make mistakes on purpose. We’re practicing hard. It’s extremely humid. AB’s face was about to explode in the heat. We need to battle longer now. In the ODIs and the Tests. They’ve done really well in one-day cricket. But its important for us that we have put our own statement out by winning this 2-0. We respect them, and we’ll play our best cricket.”
Leie was named Man of the Match, and said: “I’m very pleased. Very good start. But the credit goes to the batters. The way AB and Quinton started and the way Rilee and MIller finished set the bowlers up. I just thought I had to keep it simple and hit my lengths. With the humidity, it was hard to grip the ball. Just tried to keep it wicket to wicket. It’s great. It’s an environment everyone wants to be in. Just very happy to be around such great players.”