Proteas wary of Tigers bite

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The South African cricket team won’t be taking anything for granted in Wednesday night’s Twenty20 cricket international against Bangladesh at the Wanderers.

The Tigers put up a brave fight in New Zealand’s back yard last month when many of their players were absent due to their involvement with the so-called rebel league in India.

The Kiwis scraped home by three wickets in the first test and had to sweat to win the limited overs series 2-1. Bangladesh had won the first of the three internationals.

The Tigers will be out to show that their performance against New Zealand was no fluke and at the same time issue a warning to the Proteas ahead of the limited overs series, which starts in Potchefstroom on Friday.

Stand-in Proteas skipper Johan Botha warned that Twenty20 as an abbreviated version of the game significantly closes the gap between teams such as Bangladesh and South Africa.

The off-spinner is leading South Africa while Graeme Smith recovers from an injury to his elbow.

“Bangladesh showed the last few years what they are capable of with victories over Australia and South Africa in last year’s World Cup. We are ready for a big fight,” said Botha.

Dale Steyn is ready to test the Tigers’ batsmen, but Botha does not believe it will be a good idea for the ball to seam too much off the Wanderers pitch.

“When the ball does too much it further closes the gap between the teams. It’s important that we play on a good wicket where the batsmen can score many runs,” said Botha.

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons believes his team is capable of an upset, even though several top players will be missing.

South Africa: Johan Botha (captain), Loots Bosman, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Rory Kleinveldt, Johann Louw, Albie Morkel, Morné Morkel, Justin Ontong, Dale Steyn.

Bangladesh (from): Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful (c), Raqibul Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehrab Hossain, Imrul Kayes, Naeem Islam, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel, Nazmul Hossain, Mahbubul Alam.

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