Breet­zke, 19, lashes Bangladesh

Cape Argus - - Sport - STU­ART HESS

WHILE Im­ran Tahir did his best to talk up Bangladesh’s cre­den­tials as a one-day side, in Bloem­fontein the tourists pro­duced a per­for­mance that sug­gested the scar­ring from the pound­ing they’d taken in two Tests was very far from healed.

As the Proteas com­pleted their first train­ing ses­sion in Kim­ber­ley yes­ter­day, about two hours down the N8, Bangladesh’s night­mare tour con­tin­ued as they were thumped by an In­vi­ta­tion XI, for whom a teenager, with just nine se­nior matches to his name, was the star.

Matthew Breet­zke, still three weeks shy of his 19th birth­day, scored 71 (100b, 9x4) as part of a 147-run open­ing stand with Ai­den Markram, who scored 82 (68b, 8x4, 1x6) as the In­vi­ta­tion side, cap­tained by JP Du­miny, chased down a tar­get of 256, with 21 balls to spare, los­ing just four wick­ets in the process.

Breet­zke, who hails from the East­ern Cape, was one of the stand­out play­ers in the SA un­der19 side that lost a five-match se­ries to its West Indies coun­ter­parts in July, scor­ing two cen­turies and a half-cen­tury.

Hav­ing suf­fered de­feats by 333 runs and an in­nings and 254 runs in the Test matches, Bangladesh will be seek­ing sal­va­tion in the ODIs, the first of which will be played in Kim­ber­ley on Sun­day.

“They are not an easy team,” Tahir said by way of show­ing them re­spect.

“They proved that by qual­i­fy­ing for the semi-fi­nals in the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy.”

In­deed they did, although they were helped sig­nif­i­cantly by rain wash­ing away half of their one group match against Aus­tralia fol­low­ing which they pulled off a stun­ning five-wicket win against New Zealand, in­spired by cen­turies from Shakib Al-Hasan and Mah­madul­lah to qual­ify for the fi­nal four.

Although Shakib is back for the ODIs after opt­ing out of the Test se­ries here, he will have to pro­duce some­thing in­spi­ra­tional to drag his side out of the mire.

Their cap­tain Mush­fiqur Rahim cut a dis­con­so­late fig­ure dur­ing the Bloem­fontein Test, ques­tion­ing his own abil­ity to in­spire his men.

Shakib has also come in for crit­i­cism for not play­ing the Tests, and the ODIs will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for him to si­lence his many crit­ics.

South Africa will use the se­ries as part of the build­ing ahead of the 2019 World Cup.

He will be 40 when that tour­na­ment rolls around, but Tahir wants to be there. He said: “I’d love to be at the World Cup, but I know I will have to keep do­ing my best and work hard on my fit­ness.”

Matthew Breet­zke

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