Kagiso Rabada tore most of the Bangladesh Tigers top order to pieces with a record-breaking debut performance that enable the Castle Lager Proteas to win the opening ODI by eight wickets at Mirpur on Friday.
Bangladesh, after winning the toss in a match reduced to 40 overs per side after heavy overnight and morning rain, were dismissed for 160 in 36.3 overs.
The Proteas had little difficulty in chasing down the target with almost 9 overs to spare thanks in the main to an unbroken third wicket partnership of 99 in 18 overs between Faf du Plessis (63 off 75 balls, 7 fours) and Rilee Rossouw (45 off 53 balls, 5 fours and a six). In the absence of AB de Villiers, Rossouw got the opportunity to occupy the important No.4 position and took full advantage.
Rabada, the 114th player to represent the Proteas in this format, became only the second player to take a hat trick on debut and his final return of 6/16 from his limit of 8 overs was the best ever on debut, beating Fidel Edwards’ 6/22 for the West Indies. The previous best debut performance for South Africa was Allan Donald’s 5/29 against India in the Proteas first ever ODI.
He is also the third South African to take an ODI hat trick after Charl Langeveldt against the West Indies in 2005 and JP Duminy against Sri Lanka at the ICC World Cup earlier this year and the 39th hat trick on the all-time list.
They were also the best ever figures for South Africa beating Makhaya Ntini’s 6/22 against Australia. He might have become the first Protea to take 7 wickets as he had one delivery at the No. 11 Bangladesh batsman at the end of his second spell but could not pull it off.
He is also the 11th youngest bowler at the age of 20 years and 46 days to take five wickets on debut. The previous best for South Africa was by Wayne Parnell at the age of 20 years and 56 days against Australia.
With the exception of the experienced Shakib-al-Hasan, who made 48 off 51 balls (5 fours), none of the Bangladesh top order could cope with the pace and accuracy of Rabada who took 4/14 (1 maiden) in his opening spell of 5 overs and incredibly only conceded two wides in his closing spell between the 26th and 31st overs of 3-2-2-2.
The stand-out feature of Rabada’s performance was his outstanding control and his impeccable length.
It has been an outstanding tour for debutants following on Eddie Leie’s Man of the Match performance in the second T20 International earlier this week. Rabada was a shoe-in for the Man of the Match on this occasion.
With Morne Morkel due to play his 100th ODI in the second match on Sunday it will be interesting to see what the selectors do. Rabada certainly won’t be the player sitting out.
Both Kyle Abbott, who led the attack in the absence of Morkel and Dale Steyn, and Chris Morris were a bit erratic but it was a day on which everybody was going to be overshadowed by South Africa’s latest rising star.