Markram goes, SA 289/3

South African batsmen Temba Bavuma plays a shot during the 3rd ODI match against Bangladesh at the Buffalo Park, East london. Photo: AFP

 

Two new batsman at the crease for South Africa as Farhaan Behardien joined De Villiers at the crease. De Villiers picked Mashrafe over cover for six in the final delivery of the 43rd over to signal Proteas intent. South Africa will be looking to take their score well over 350. Behardien is also looking to get in on the act as he drove an over-pitched delivery by Rubel for four in the next over.

40.6, SA 89/3 - Markram tries to take a quick two and challenges Imrul Kayes's throwing arm. Imrul gets a direct hit in and Markram is gone. Out

AK Markram run out 66 (60b 4x4 2x6) SR: 110.00

 

 

Du Plessis was down on the ground and he decides to walk off after the injury. De Villiers is the new batsman at the crease.

Du Plessis leaves after a fantastic 67-ball 91.

40.1, SA 283/2 - Proteas duo take two runs and bring up their 150-run partnership.

 

 

End of over 40, SA 281/2

Poor over from Mashrafe in the 36th over as he went for 15. Three fours from Du Plessis off that Mashrafe over as he got stuck into the Tigers skipper and produced three fours.

Du Plessis really turned on the style in the 38th over when Taskin Ahmed went for 14 runs.

End of over 35, SA 229/2

34.6, SA 229/2 - Fifty on debut  for Markram as he takes a single off Mehedi Hasan

33.3, SA 219/2 - du Plessis takes a single to reach his 29th ODI 50.

Markram and du Plessis have really paced the innings well since the loss of de kock. Both players are scoring at more than a run-a-ball as South Africa piled on the runs.

30.5, SA 200/2 - Markram plays Sabbir Rahman through backward point and ball goes for four. Thats brings the 200 for South Africa

 

End of over 30, SA 192/2

 

Mahmudullah Riyad was brought in to bowl the 26th over and du Plessis went after him as he swept him first for four behind square before hitting a six towards square leg off a sweep shot again. Riyad came back to bowl the 30th over and this time Markram took advantage as he struck a four and a six off the second and third delivery respectively. In the last ball it was du Plessis who edged him through third man for four as Riyad went for 17 runs. Three overs for Riyad and 33 runs conceeded.

 

 

End of over 25, SA 150/2, Markram 13, du Plessis 12

Mehedi Hasan showed the intelligence to alter his length and flight once he saw de Kock coming down the track. The batsmen chipped it back straight to the bowler and leaves after scoring 73 runs.

Q de Kock c & b Mehedi Hasan Miraz 73 (68b 9x4 1x6) SR: 107.35

Debutant Aiden Markram came in to bat. In the second ball of Mehedi's eighth over he came down the track and lifted Mehedi nonchalently over mid on for six.

21.1, SA 132/2 - Mehdi holds off the length slightly as he saw De Kock coming down the track. De Kock give an easy return catch to Mehedi.

 

 

End of over 20, SA 127/1, du Plessi 6, de Kock 71

The Bangladesh bowlers have all been on the expensive side and South Africa batsmen have gotten increasingly adventurous. South Africa lost their first wicket when Mehedi's turn got the better off Bavuma (48).

Shakib Al Hasan came back into the attack in the 19th over. Proteas skipper Faf Du Plessis is at the crease and Shakib removed him for naught in the second ODI. Shakib conceeded only three runs as Tigers were able to put some break in the scoring rate.

There was a run out chance in the last ball of the 20th over but de kock reached his crease safely in the end.

 

17.5, SA 119/1 -  A loose shot from Bavuma off Mehedi and he is holed out at long off.

T Bavuma c Liton Das b Mehedi Hasan Miraz 48 (47b 5x4 0x6) SR: 102.12

 

End of over 15, SA 104/0

At the end of 15 overs South Africa have piled up 104 runs for no loss. De Kock has raced to a fifty and Bavuma is on 42 runs.

South Africa made a terrific start as they reached 80 for nos loss after 12 overs. There has been little joy for the Bangladesh bowlers. Bavuma grew increasingly confident in his abilities when he charged Taskin and smashed him for four through the off side.

13.6, SA 93/0 -Mehedi Hasan to de Kock, 1 run, pushed through on off. de Kock eases down to long-off. Another fifty for de Kock. He looks in fantastic touch.

 

End of over 10, SA 69/0, de Kock 41, Bavuma 27

De kock looked like a man in form when he smashed Rubel Hossain through the covers for four in the sixth over. Rubel conceeded nine runs in his second over. In the seventh over Bavuma picked up a boundary off Mahsrafe when the skipper lured him into a drive. Five runs cam off the Mashrafe over. Bevuma is making most of the opportunity of opening the innings for the Proteas. 

7.6, SA 52/0 - Bavuma goes down the track and plays Shakib along the ground through mid-wicket. 50 partnership for SA.

Taskin Ahmed came to bowl the ninth over and he was punched straight down the ground by de Kock for four. Even as South Africa have tinkered with their opening partnership, the Proteas have managed to keep making runs.

 

End of over 5, SA 32/0

Mehedi Hasan Miraz came to bowl the second over after skipper Mashrafe bowled the first over of the innings. Quinton de Kock struck three boundaries of the first over from Mehedi. Mehedi dropped the second ball of the over too short and de Kock rocked back to cut him through point. The other two boundaries also came through point as de Kock picked up the length too quickly. Twelve runs came off that Mehedi over.

In the third over Bavuma picked up his second boundary off Mashrafe as the skipper pitches it short of length. Mehedi was replaced by Rubel Hossain after the former conceeded 12 in his first over. Rubel concceded five as de Kock oicked up a boundary in a relatively good over from Rubel.

Bangladesh bowlers show a certain lack of consistency here as they have done throughout this tour. A bad ball or two can release any pressure the bowlers are trying to build up. South Africa have started brightly yet agains as they are 32 for no loss after five overs.

 

 

Temba Bavuma opens the innings with Quinton de Kock. Mashrafe Mortaza will be bowling the first over.

Welcome to our updates of the third ODI between Bangladesh and South Africa.

South Africa have won the toss and elected to bat first in the third ODI against Bangladesh at East london.

It's a landmark match for Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza who is playing in his 50th ODI as Bangladesh captain.

Bangladesh are heading into the final and third ODI with a 2-0 deficit and the Tigers will be looking to resurrect some pride in this third ODI.

South Africa are aiming to complete a whitewash and clinch the series three-match ODI series 3-0.

For Bangladesh, Tamim Iqbal is out of the third ODI due to aggravating an inhury that occurred during the warm-up match at Benoni.

Aidern Markram, who is set to make his ODI debut will replace Hashim Amla.

South Africa XI: Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Faf du Plessis (capt), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien,  Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder, Dane Paterson, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir

Bangladesh XI: Imrul Kayes,  Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed

Barca stroll as Messi joins Europe’s 100-goal club

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their second goal with Paulinho. Photo: Reuters

 

Lionel Messi scored his 100th goal in European competition as Barcelona moved close to qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages by outclassing Olympiakos 3-1 on Wednesday despite playing the second half with 10 men.

Gerard Pique was sent off two minutes before halftime for two bookings, one for tugging an opponent's shirt and the other for slapping the ball into the net, but Barca were barely threatened by a hapless Olympiakos side who are badly under-performing in their Greek title defence.

The Athens club, who won three league titles and two domestic Cups under current Barca coach Ernesto Valverde, are fifth in the standings in the Greek top flight and have lost all their games in the Champions League.

Barca took the lead in the 18th minute at a rainswept and sparsely attended Nou Camp when visiting defender Dimitrios Nikolaou turned Gerard Deulofeu's cross into his own net.

It was the fifth own goal Barca have benefited from this season in all competitions.

 

Messi struck his landmark goal in Europe from a free kick in the 61st minute to double Barca's lead. It was his 97th goal in the Champions League. His other three came in the UEFA Super Cup.

"I hope he can get to 200 by the end of this season," joked Valverde after the Argentine took his tally to 15 goals in all competitions less than two months into the campaign.

"His numbers validate what we see from him every day. He is constantly breaking down barriers."

Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu also paid tribute to Messi.

"I would give him every prize in the world, he has been the best player of all time for many years now," he said.

"He has made this era sublime. We see him as the leader of our team, he contributes so much and we all never tire of enjoying him."

Messi then carved his way through the hapless visiting defence moments later to tee up France left back Lucas Digne to score his first goal in the Champions League for Barca.

Greek defender Nikolaou, 19, scored for a second time but first for his side when he headed home from a corner to give Olympiakos a scantly-deserved consolation goal in the 89th minute.

The unbeaten Barca top Champions League Group D with nine points. A win at Olympiakos in two weeks will seal their place in the last 16.

"We are feeling very good in the league and Champions League and we have to keep going like this," Barca's Sergi Roberto told reporters after his side recorded a 10th victory in 11 games.

"We are frustrated to have conceded a goal although by then the game was almost over."

'Bowlers contributed to our progress'

The Boland Park Stadium in Paarl was showered by rain yesterday, forcing the Bangladesh team to practise indoors. The fans will be hoping that the gloomy weather subsides by the time the second ODI begins today. PHOTO: SAKEB SUBHAN

 

Shakib Al Hasan had talked about it just being a game two days before the first ODI in Kimberley, and while Tamim Iqbal does not have the same insouciance that his teammate does, the left-hander seemed to be singing from the same songbook yesterday when he sought to play down the hysteria surrounding Bangladesh's dismal showing in South Africa so far, especially after the 10-wicket defeat in the first ODI.

The bowlers were hit all around the park by Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock as they notched the highest unbeaten opening partnership in a successful chase. Speaking ahead of the second ODI today at Boland Park in Paarl, Tamim however batted for his beleaguered bowling mates.

“There has been a lot of talk about the bowlers and while they are not up to the mark, it is also unfair to forget that they made contributions to our progress in the last two years,” said Tamim, and the focus of his sympathy seemed to be Taskin Ahmed, who was taken for 61 runs in eight overs on Sunday. “Mustafizur [Rahman] was highlighted during the India series but I personally felt that Taskin played a major role by giving us breakthroughs. Rubel's performance against South Africa [in 2015] also shouldn't be forgotten. When they are not doing well, we should get behind them and support them. I am sure tomorrow or the next game or the next series, they will come back.

“We are not playing great cricket and we know it,” said Tamim of the first ODI, where they scored 278 for seven. “It would have been a complete batting performance had we scored 300-plus. We weren't up to the mark with our bowling, especially in these conditions against this opposition. We couldn't take early wickets which hurt us, but we will try to do this in the next game.”

Bangladesh have not been able to take wickets throughout the tour, totalling a meagre 25 scalps across five games including the two practice matches. With their bowling so far in mind, it may be hard to share Tamim's confidence.

 

“The world depends on hope; we do that too,” said Tamim when his declaration of confidence in the bowlers was met with scepticism. “We believe that we can do it. It is a new game, a new day. We have taken lessons as a group, so I will hope to rectify these mistakes and get better.”

He also spoke out in support of Shakib, whose bowling has not been very incisive of late. “When Shakib or Mustafizur bowls, we want a wicket every over. It is not possible. People will have good and bad days. We are talking about the same guy who won us a Test a month ago with his brilliant bowling.”

Bowling is only half the problem however. Sunday's 278 was the best batting performance on tour but it was still built around an outstanding innings from Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 110, while the rest continued the old habit of getting set and then getting out.

“I think some batsmen were unlucky. Imrul [Kayes, the next highest scorer with 31] did all the hard work but got out down the leg side which happened in the second Test and in the first ODI,” said Tamim of the batsman with whom he formed Bangladesh's most successful opening pair in Tests. “He played the appropriate shot and the bowler too does not expect a wicket off that ball. If we can convert the 20s and 30s to 60s and 70s, we will score more runs as a team. I think all the batsmen know they need big scores but I have zero complaints against their work ethic. They need to be luckier and smarter.”

First-class negligence brings ODI mess

Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed

Bangladesh pacers Rubel Hossain (L) and Taskin Ahmed failed to deliver the goods in the first ODI against South Africa on Sunday. PHOTOS: AFP FILE

 

South Africa's record of chasing the highest total in ODIs without losing a wicket against Bangladesh on Sunday is an ignominious result for the Tigers, but if it surprised the team and supporters, they may want to take their heads out of the sand. In the 21 ODIs at away or neutral venues since the start of the 2015 World Cup, which was one of Bangladesh cricket's seminal moments, the Tigers have conceded more than 200 and failed to take more than three wickets in five matches.

Even during the period when they have universally been acknowledged to have taken a big developmental step, the period that has led to South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis to say that they are now proven performers overseas, Bangladesh's bowlers have basically failed to turn up virtually once every four matches away from home. Even more alarmingly, that number goes up to once in every three overseas matches in 2017, and three times in the last five ODIs.

The semifinal finish in the Champions Trophy may be taken as a triumph, but in two of the four matches played there Bangladesh conceded 308 for two against England and 265 for one against India in unsuccessful defences. In light of this track record overseas, Sunday's performance does not seem surprising and Du Plessis's generous words seem like an overestimation. The bowlers' one-day inefficacy is not much different from their weakness in Tests -- when the opposition start going like South Africa did while scoring 496 for three and 573 for four in the Tests, for instance, the Bangladesh bowlers, especially pacers, are often clueless. They have proven utterly unable to work out on the field how to get set batsmen out, and that showed on Sunday and throughout this tour.

Why blame Walsh for a cultural shortcoming?

While many may satisfy themselves by pointing the finger at pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh, the finger could justifiably be pointed straight back at the bowlers. It will be an epic failure of the bowling group and the cricketing culture at large if the tenure of a legend like Walsh's ends without there being some noticeable improvement. If international bowlers cannot get the basics -- like spot bowling to frustrate set batsmen, a tactic that any youngster who has watched even one spell of Walsh's bowling should be aware of-- then what hope do they have of learning the higher skills of pace bowling that Walsh is steeped in?

 

The reality of the matter is that Bangladesh's current crop of pacers have not grown up in a culture that values the longer form. Rubel Hossain, in a cricket career dating back to 2007, has played just 48 first-class matches and 25 of those were Tests -- which works out to an average of just over two domestic first-class matches a year. Taskin Ahmed has played 10 domestic first-class matches in six years of being a professional cricketer. Mustafizur Rahman may be a slight exception as he has played 15 domestic first-class games in a little over three years. Sunday's ODI debutant Mohammad Saifuddin, meanwhile, is an outlier as he has played 24 first-class games and 23 List A games in three years, but as a complete newcomer, his trend is not yet possible to determine.

Longer-version experience becomes especially relevant when viewing performances like Sunday's because in first-class games run containment works hand in hand with taking wickets, which is the primary goal. During a partnership like Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock's, a wicket is the primary goal because you cannot expect to contain two set batsmen of such quality below a sub-300 total. Former Australian batsman Ian Chappel's oft-repeated adage 'You can't score runs sitting in the pavilion' is as true for ODIs as it is for Test matches.

Rubel's, and especially Taskin's, failure on Sunday as well as in the past is that they were unable to respond to what is in front of them, or they lack the skill to do so. Amla hit seven of his eight fours on the off side, but Taskin kept feeding him balls outside off stump. De Kock hit a majority of his 19 boundaries square on the leg side, yet Taskin kept bowling at his body.

The result was Taskin leaking 61 runs in his eight overs. He is a bowler who came into the side with great potential, but has been exposed badly when not backed by the spinners on the spin-friendly pitches at home.

And this trend is set to continue. Even if pacers play domestic first-class matches or Tests at home, their role is usually limited to bowling five overs before the spinners take over to operate on batting tracks that favour spinners. South Africa's highest Test wicket-taker Shaun Pollock, during the second Test in Bloemfontein, genuinely asked whether Bangladesh actually want to do well away from home. Lip service aside, until the authorities truly learn to value longer-version cricket as the source of quality cricketers, especially bowlers, tours like the current one will continue to be commonplace.  

Proteas prove superiority

Mushfiqur Rahim

Mushfiqur Rahim, left, hit a fantastic century in the first ODI against South Africa at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley yesterday, but it was not nearly enough as the hosts crushed the Tigers and cantered to victory without a scratch. Photo: AFP

 

Halfway through South Africa's cakewalk to what seemed like a challenging target of 279 on a clear and windy day in Kimberley's Diamond Oval the large Bangladesh contingent, who were shouting themselves hoarse during the first half of the first ODI, became subdued. The fours and sixes from Bangladesh's batsmen, especially the 11 boundaries and two sixes off centurion Mushfiqur Rahim's bat, had given them something to cheer, but when Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock opened a library of boundaries of their own, the green and red started disappearing from the stands, perhaps in the uncomfortable knowledge that, with four more international matches still to go in the tour, that even when Bangladesh play well they will just not be good enough to topple their hosts.

The result was a win for South Africa by a whopping 10 wickets with 43 balls to spare. De Kock reached an unbeaten 168, his 13th ODI ton, when he hammered Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza through square leg for midwicket for four to bring up the winning runs. Amla was unbeaten at the other end on a 110-ball 112, his 29th Test ton. It was only the second time in ODI history that a team has won by 10 wickets while chasing 250 or above, with the previous one being England's chase of 253 against Sri Lanka last year.

As it the result was not enough, Mashrafe informed after the match that Mustafizur Rahman – who twisted his ankle the day before the match and missed yesterday's match – will miss the rest of the tour, including the two T20Is at the end.

The only chance that Bangladesh created was when Taskin Ahmed dropped a caught-and-bowled chance off Amla when the batsman was on 94 and the team score was on 237 without loss. Otherwise Bangladesh's bowlers had no impact on the openers as they went about chasing down the target with minimum fuss. De Kock took the majority of the strike and reached his century at a run-a-ball and accelerated from then on, scoring his next 68 runs off just 48 balls to end with 21 boundaries and two maximums. Amla, serene as usual, reached his ton in 99 balls and finished on 110 off 112 balls with eight boundaries.

Earlier, Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladesh batsman to score a century against South Africa, playing beautifully for an unbeaten 110 off 116 balls with 11 fours and two well-hit sixes. The team suffered a setback even before Mashrafe won the toss and chose to bat as star opener Tamim Iqbal was ruled out of the match as he has not fully recovered from a thigh muscle tear sustained earlier on tour. The team stuck to the captain's directive to play positive cricket, and despite missing their batting leader, Imrul Kayes and Liton Das gave the team a positive start with a 43-run opening stand that set the tone of the innings. Liton was out in the ninth over, caught at second slip off Kagiso Rabada. The catch by South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis was low enough for the umpires to check the replays, but it proved to clean.

 

Shakib Al Hasan came in at number three for only the second time in his career, and when he reached 17 he became the fastest player – in terms of matches – to achieve the ODI double of 5,000 runs and 200 wickets, and the fifth player ever to reach that mark. Before that, Imrul Kayes, who played well for 31, was caught down the leg side off a short delivery from Dwaine Pretorius.

A scratchy innings from Shakib ended on 29 when he edged a googly from leg-spinner Imran Tahir to first slip to leave Bangladesh on 126 for three in the 26th over. Mushfiqur, ever aware of the need for quick runs, had announced his intentions with a classy square cut for his first boundary and a down-the-wicket four off Andile Phehlukwayo.

A 69-run partnership with Mahmudullah Riyad, the highlight of whose innings was a down-the-track pull for six off a 140kph Rabada bouncer, formed the backbone of the innings. Before that, Mushfiqur gave notice of his sublime form by debutant Dane Paterson for an advancing six over square cover to reach his 50 off his 52nd deliver.            

The partnership with Mahmudullah ended in the 29 th over when he skied a pull off Pretorius to be out for a 27-ball 26.

Sabbir Rahman scored a fast 19 and just after he was dismissed by Rabad in the 46th over and during his partnership with Mushfiqur the latter reached his fifth ODI ton off his 108th ball with a nudge for two.

Debutant Mohammad Saifuddin then hit an 11-ball 16 as Bangladesh scored 76 runs in the last 10 overs for the loss of three wickets to reach 278, their highest total in South Africa. But Amla, De Kock and Bangladesh's bowlers that proved to be woefully inadequate.

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