Same recipe, different outcome? Rabada happy Proteas got fine margins right at Wanderers

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Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada. (Photo by Christiaan KOTZE / AFP)
Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada. (Photo by Christiaan KOTZE / AFP)
  • Despite pretty much sticking to the same recipe, Kagiso Rabada admitted that he was a bit stumped by the Proteas' attack's success at the Wanderers in contrast to Centurion. 
  • The Proteas spearhead, who set up his side's win in the 2nd ODI with 5/39, believes it was simply the ability to strike early that made the difference. 
  • Now armed with confidence going into Wednesday's decider, Rabada hopes the Proteas can address their nasty habit of starting slowly before waking up in series.

How can fortunes change so starkly in less than two days?

It's a question Kagiso Rabada still doesn't quite have an answer for after he and new-ball partner Lungi Ngidi set up the Proteas' convincing 7-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the 2nd ODI at the Wanderers on Sunday, in the process levelling the three-match series at one-all.

The duo varied their lengths superbly, with Rabada confounding the Tigers' top order with his extra bounce as they slumped to 34/5 in the 13th over.

READ | Big guns Rabada and De Kock fire in pink as Proteas keep ODI series against Tigers alive

That success was in contrast to what transpired in the opener in Centurion on Friday, when Bangladesh reached 95 in just under 22 overs before the first wicket fell despite Rabada and Ngidi bowling just as well in their opening spells.

What proceedings at a pink-clad Bullring suggested, at least, is that nothing beats early wickets.

"I'm still asking myself why the wickets fell today and not in the previous game," said Rabada, who would go on to bag only his second five-for in the format with stellar figures of 5/39.

"I guess there was maybe a bit more [on offer] with the new ball. But I thought we bowled very well in Centurion too, particularly in the first 10 overs. We just couldn't get the breakthrough.

"On the Highveld, you're almost guaranteed to speed up in your batting effort once you're in because it gets easier to bat. There's value here with the new ball and the cracks probably played a bit of a role before the ball got a bit old."

Indeed, Bangladesh were able to mount a decent recovery through Afif Hossain, who made a fine 72, illustrating that application pays off and striking immediately is key.

"We got the ball in the right areas, just as we did in Centurion. I suppose the Wanderers was just good to us," said Rabada.

While the South Africans now go into the decider at SuperSport on Wednesday with their tails up, it remains a frustrating trait that they first need to suffer a reverse before getting back on track.

"It is a concern [that we tend to start slowly] because you do want to throw the first punch," said Rabada.

"It's something we keep talking about because we keep finding ourselves in these positions. You never want to make the work harder for yourself. It's not like we want to, but we definitely have a few things to still work on."

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