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Bangladesh seeks to end South Africa drought in ODI series

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JOHANNESBURG: Bangladesh has lost every match across all formats that they have played in South Africa, but go into a one-day series against the Proteas on Friday with reasonable hopes of ending the drought.

The series opens with a day-night game at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.

Bangladesh has a settled one-day side and currently is on top of the International Cricket Council’s World Cup Super League, while South Africa is languishing in tenth place.

The tourists have batting depth, especially since star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan reversed an earlier decision to take a break from the game.

They also have local knowledge in the form of three South Africans in head coach Russell Domingo, who previously coached South Africa, bowling coach Allan Donald and power-hitting coach Albie Morkel.

South Africa, though, will be at full strength and will be backing their fast bowlers to capitalise on the pace and bounce that is a feature of the pitches at Centurion and the Wanderers in Johannesburg, the two venues for the series.

The log table may not be a true reflection of the respective strength of the teams given the disparity in the number of matches played and the quality of opposition but South Africa will be keen to climb up the standings.

Only the seven top teams plus hosts India qualify automatically for the 2023 World Cup.

South Africa have made a poor start to their Super League campaign, losing at home to Pakistan and away to Sri Lanka, while they were only able to share a series in Ireland, with one match, rained off.

They also had a weather-induced no-result against the Netherlands, leaving them with plenty of ground to make up.

Bangladesh, by contrast, has won a series against West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Afghanistan with their only series defeat coming in New Zealand, where they lost all three matches.

The one-day series will be followed by two Test matches in which South Africa is likely to be without several key players.

The Tests clash with the lucrative Indian Premier League and South Africa’s IPL players, given the option of choosing where to play, are expected to head to India after the one-day games.

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