After two successful back-to-back series wins against Pakistan and India, Bangladesh have lost two T20 matches to South Africa in quick succession.
On Tuesday, they lost the second match by 31 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
AB de Villiers (40) and Quinton de Kock (44) registered South Africa’s highest T20 opening stand, 95, after the tourists opted to bat first.
Then some lusty hitting in the death overs took them to 169 for four.
Bangladesh openers began with a flourish but after Tamim Iqbal (13) and their topscorer Soumya Sarkar (37) put on 46, the rest never really looked in the hunt.
The batsmen came and went in a hurry. None of them tried to anchor the innings to see them through the overs.
South Africa bowled Bangladesh out for 138 in 19.2 overs to win their first series since the World Cup in style.
Tamim and Soumya cracked at least one boundary in each of the first five overs with the Proteas bowlers initially struggling to find rhythm.
Soumya looked in fine touch as he timed the balls exquisitely.
Faf du Plessis changed things up by bringing Wayne Parnell from the opposite end after the seamer conceded 10 runs in the third over at the other.
It worked for South Africa as Tamim swung at one of his slower short balls and skied it for an easy catch to David Wiese at midwicket, just when the opener had started to find the middle of the bat.
His partner Soumya responded by clubbing a six over long-on in Parnell’s next ball but fell to Leie as the bowler’s first international wicket in the next over.
A lot depended on ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan (8) but he failed to get any momentum at all, failing to score even off a free-hit.
He soon fell to Aaron Phangiso under pressure to score quickly. He went for a six over long-on but Rilee Rossouw took a well-judged catch at the edge of the ropes.
Sabbir Rahman (1) swept Leie against the turn and was caught at deep midwicket.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who has been going through a rough patch with both the keeping gloves and the bat, took it upon himself to play the shots and smashed a boundary and a six.
But after a quick 19 off 16 balls, Rahim tried to hit over the cover but misjudged a full toss as Rossouw took a fine leaping catch at short cover.
Nasir Hossain went back for a duck in a dismissal identical to Shakib’s, caught right on the ropes as the hosts lost three wickets in a space of five balls and slipped to 82 for six.
Bangladesh debutant Rony Talukdar (21) and Liton Kumar Das (10) tried to keep the bowlers at bay in an extended middle order.
But the latter fell to Phangiso in yet another swipe that went to Wiese at long-on.
Skipper Mashrafe’s quickfire 17 off 8 balls was too late, too little with Bangladesh facing an inevitable defeat.
The asking rate climbed to an impossible 14 per over when Mashrafe hit two back-to-back sixes off left arm spinner Phangiso.
But soon after, he tried an impossible shot off a Kyle Abbott yorker to be bowled all hands down before the paceman went through Talukdar and Mustafizur Rahman (0) in similar fashion to finish things off.
Leie, Phangiso and Abbott bagged three wickets each for the tourists.
Earlier, Bangladesh were pleased to have restricted South Africa to the total as their openers raised hopes of scoring in excess of 200 with their record T20I opening stand.
The Tigers clawed their way back into the game with three wickets in the space of nine balls after a sloppy show on the field in the first half of the innings.
Strings of misfields, including three let-offs by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur, helped the openers blaze away.
De Kock and de Villiers were in ominous mood as they flourished with regular boundaries, plundering 10 fours and two sixes between them.
The duo signalled their intent from the outset smashing Arafat Sunny, who opened the bowling for the hosts, for four boundaries in his first two over.
Nasir Hossain started off in wayward fashion and was taken off after his first over.
Mashrafe replaced him with teenager Mustafizur while bringing Shakib at the other end.
The batsmen seemed to have done their homework as they dealt sensibly with the young Bangladesh pace sensation and Shakib initially.
The duo plundered 24 runs off Mustafizur and Shakib’s next two overs with de Kock charging out to send the allrounder soaring over midwicket for the first six of the innings.
They kept punishing bad balls while comfortably piercing the gaps and nothing was working for Mashrafe.
Soumya Sarkar went for 11 in his only over before the captain himself was hammered for a boundary and a six that forced him to bring Sunny back into the attack.
The change gave Bangladesh their first breakthrough that triggered a collapse in the Proteas toporder and brought Bangladesh back into the game.
Sunny sent de Kock (44) packing when the left-handed batsman tried to whip away a full delivery but failed to pick the gap.
After cracking a boundary in the first ball of the next over, Jean-Paul Duminy (6) followed the opener in the next ball. Nasir’s delivery took a leading edge to Shakib for an easy catch.
Nasir struck again with the next ball having the dangerous AB de Villiers (40) caught behind.
As South Africa reached 100 in the 12th over, Faf du Plessis (16) and David Miller (30 not out) steadied the ship with a 34-run stand as the bowlers dried out boundaries.
Attempting to pick things up again, the Proteas captain fell to Mustafizur’s cutter soon after. He tried to whip it away but ended up skying an easy catch to Mushfiqur.
But Rilee Rossouw (19 off 6 balls) joined Miller to smash Shakib for 19 in the penultimate over and Mustafizur for 13 in the last by bludgeoning three sixes and two fours off them.
Nasir returned 26 for 2 in four overs while Sunny and Mustafizur took one wicket apiece.
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