Bangladesh added another big scalp to their tally in an already successful year flattening South Africa by nine wickets to win the three-match one-day international series 2-1 in Chittagong on Wednesday.
The Tigers faced little trouble to achieve the revised target of 170 runs after the bowlers did a tremendous job to restrict the Proteas to 168-9 at the rain-soaked Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Opener Soumya Sarkar began from where he ended in the series-equaling second match in Dhaka, hitting 90 off 75 balls to take the Tigers home with nine wickets and 83 balls to spare.
Local boy Tamim Iqbal, playing his 150th ODI, complemented with an unbeaten 61 as the duo put 154 runs in their epic opening stand to make the win look very easy.
The win capped another historic success for Bangladesh after their maiden appearance in the World Cup quarter-final and successive series wins over neighbours India and Pakistan earlier this year.
The series win however is unique in a sense that the Tigers for the first time managed to come back from 0-1 deficit to win a three-match series after three futile attempts in the past.
The Tigers came within sight of their first ever win by 10-wicket margin before Somuya wasted it with a moment of lapse in concentration that allowed
South Africa to get their only success in the match.
One-down Liton Das took the honour of completing the win as he smashed leg-spinner Imran Tahir for four over the midwicket to spark a huge celebration in the Tigers’ dressing room and across the country.
Left-arm spinner Sakib al Hasan and skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza will also remember the game forever for not just the historic win but for also reaching a highly commendable milestone.
Both of them reached their 200-wicket landmark being the second and third Bangladeshi respectively, after left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, setting up the massive win in the rain-reduced 40-over-a-side game.
Left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman made the first breakthrough but it was Sakib, who delivered the telling blow with a double strike, to leave South Africa hobbling at 4-50.
When Sakib forced Amla to edge a catch to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, he joined a select group of elite allrounders who have taken 200 wickets and scored 4,000 runs in ODIs.
Only Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya, South Africa’s Jacques Kallis, Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzak and New Zealand duo Chris Harris and Chris Cairns achieved the double before the Bangladesh all-rounder.
Rain provided South Africa a chance to regroup after they were reduced to 4-78, as David Miller and JP Duminy launched a counter attack to take the momentum away briefly.
Mashrafee ended their 63-run fifth wicket stand to help the Tigers regain control and get his own milestone, as Miller (44) became his 200th victim in ODIs with Sabbir Rahman completing the catch at backward point.
Duminy held one end to score 51 off 70 balls before he became the last man dismissed in Rubel Hossain’s final over, but his effort was too little to stop an indomitable side at their brilliant best.
Mustafiz and Rubel played their part in the win by grabbing two wickets each giving away 24 and 29 runs respectively.
The two teams will play a two-Test series after the ODIs with the first Test starting in Chittagong on July 21.
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