South Africa strode to a clean-sweep over Bangladesh with a third dominating performance marred only by an injury to Faf du Plessis.
The captain suffered an acute lower-back strain after top-scoring with 91, had to retire hurt in the 41st over of the South African innings and could not take the field. He has been ruled out of next week’s T20 series.
That disruption did not get in the way of South Africa bossing proceedings, even as they emptied the bench to provide younger players with opportunity. Three of the top four scored half-centuries, all the recognised batsmen had strike rates over 100 and they piled on their highest total at Buffalo Park and against Bangladesh, who were little more than spectators of their own performance.
Bangladesh have suffered heftier defeats, but only twice. They were beaten by 233 runs by Pakistan 17 years ago, by 206 runs by South Africa at the 2011 World Cup and this, a 200-run thrashing, is their joint third heaviest loss in a series to forget. For the first time in their history, Bangladesh’s bowling conceded over 1000 runs in a three-match series and though their batting line-up did not rack up similarly bleak records, they were limp. In this match, only two of their batsmen got past 20 and only one, Shakib Al Hasan, scored more than fifty.
Contrastingly, South Africa were in the runs. Temba Bavuma returned to the ODI side for the first time since his one-off appearance against Ireland last year and was tasked with opening the batting in Hashim Amla’s absence. He immediately showed what he is capable of when he spanked the first ball – a short, wide delivery from Mashrafe Mortaza – through cover point.
With Quinton de Kock at his audacious best at the other end, South Africa’s 50 came up inside eight overs and 100 inside 15 as they treated every bowler with similar disdain.
Mehidy Hasan, who not been part of the side since the first Test in Potchefstroom, was punished when he took the new ball but ended up as the most successful bowler, taking two wickets in three overs in an attempt to create pressure. He had Bavuma caught at long-on for 48 and de Kock skied one back to him on 73 but relief of removing the openers was shortlived.
Aiden Markram, who had success against Bangladesh in the Tests, was sent in ahead of de Villiers on debut and wasted no time showing off his short-form ability. He danced down the track to the eighth ball he faced and sent Mehidy over long-on for six.
Markram shared a 151-run third-wicket stand with du Plessis, which lasted only 18 overs. The pair scored an over eight runs an over while they were together and though they targeted everyone, Mahmudullah came in for the most punishment. His three overs cost 33.
Du Plessis was well on his way to a ninth ODI century and was in a hurry to get there. He was on 89 when he flicked a ball to mid-wicket and pushed Markram to run a second but tweaked a muscle in his lower back, forcing him off the field. Markram, whose fifty came off 47 balls, paid the price for trying to steal a second when he was run-out trying to get AB de Villiers on strike.
Bangladesh kept de Villiers relatively quite and had him caught at extra cover for 20 then dismissed allrounders Wiaan Mulder, on debut, and Andile Phehlukwayo in the same over. South Africa lost 5 for 52 in the final 10 overs but had done more than enough.
Bangladesh’s hopes of challenging South Africa were up by the fifth over of their innings. They had been reduced to 20 for 3 after Imrul Kayes gifted Dane Paterson a wicket when he scooped him to mid-off, Liton Das was trapped lbw and Soumya Sarkar edged Kagiso Rabada to slip.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib were Bangladesh’s best chance of making a decent fist of things but Mushfiqur holed out off Phehlukwayo, leaving Shakib to try and salvage something with the middle order. His only assistance came from Sabbir Rahman, who shared in a 67-run sixth-wicket stand, during which Shakib brought up a hard-fought fifty.
The rest of the line-up were easy picking for an inexperienced South African attack. Mulder dismissed Mahmudullah lbw to claim his first international wicket and Markram claimed the wickets of Shakib and Sabbir to become one of only four players to score fifty and take two wickets or more on debut.