Bangladesh have not been able to win even a single match on their South African tour but a strategic decision from skipper Shakib Al Hasan helped him and spinner Mehidy Hasan achieve a unique feat on South African soil, and that too after 111 years. Shakib-Mehidy became the first spin-bowling pair after 111 years to open the bowling attack on South African soil.
The last time a spin-bowling pair opened on South African soil was in 1906. It was a Test match between South Africa and England at Johannesburg. Aubrey Faulkner and Reggie Schwarz were the spinners who opened the bowling attack against South Africa. The Proteas won the Test by 1 wicket in a nail-biter of a contest chasing down 284 runs in the fourth innings.
The ploy to start the innings with two spinners worked out well for Bangladesh initially. Hashim Amla got out for just 3 runs from 4 balls to Mehidy. While Shakib took 1 wicket for 28 runs in 3 overs, Mehidy picked up two wickets for 28 runs in four overs. Bangladesh might have continued with the spinners in the powerplay overs as their fast bowlers were hammered by Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers.
De Kock and De Villiers put on 79 runs from 48 balls for the second-wicket partnership. While De Kock scored 59 runs from 44 balls, De Villiers scored 49 runs from 27 balls and also bagged the ‘man of the match’. South Africa put on a score of 195 for 4 in 20 overs which turned out to be too good for the visitors. Bangladesh lost the match by 20 runs as they could only score 175 for 9 in the full quota of 20 overs.