BAN vs SA: Mushfiqur, Shakib blunt South Africa bowling

Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan added 142 runs for the third wicket, bringing up their respective fifties, and blunting a potent South African bowling attack in the process.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan blunted the Protean attack.   -  getty images

Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan not only put the South African bowlers to the sword, but also laid a platform for a 300-plus total in Bangladesh's opening World Cup match at The Oval in London on Sunday.

The prelude to the stodgy partnership was set early in the innings. In a space of six balls in the fifth over, Bangladesh opener Soumya Sarkar made his attacking intent clear, looking particularly strong on the leg side. He hammered 14 off one Lungi Ngidi over: a thick outside edge off the last ball raced away to the third-man boundary after two authoritative pull shots in the third and fourth ball.

Sarkar was eventually snapped up by a Chris Morris bouncer in the 12th over but his quickfire innings spurred Mushfiqur and Shakib who frustrated the South African bowlers with a feisty century stand. Both batsmen brought up their respective fifties, scoring at nearly run-a-ball, sharing 17 fours and a six between them in a 142-run third wicket stand. Shakib was eventually cleaned up by Imran Tahir — playing in his 100th ODI — for a 84-ball 75.