This inaugural match from the inaugural T20 World Championship has special significance for Bangladeshis. The match created the excellent opportunity for the Bangladeshi team and its fans to take a good look at our group stage opposition assess their strengths and weaknesses.
The great Ian Chappell had this to say about West Indies and South Africa: -
Ian Chappell's take on West Indies
West Indies didn't perform well in the World Cup, playing at home and led by Brian Lara, and they're unlikely to do well in unfamiliar conditions and without their star batsman as captain.
However the West Indies players have an advantage over all but their English counterparts in that they have performed, under pressure and on a regular basis, in their domestic Twenty20 tournaments. The Stanford competition is a big-money affair, and West Indies are more used to serious Twenty20 cricket than most other countries where the game was treated more as entertainment until the announcement of this high-profile ICC tournament.
On paper West Indies have most of the ingredients for a strong Twenty20 side. They have a big-hitting opener to take advantage of the fielding restrictions in the first six overs; they have a couple of very talented allrounders in Dwayne Bravo and Marlon Samuels to add depth in batting and bowling; and they have a pacy new-ball bowler who can strike early.
However Chris Gayle's poor footwork has made him highly inconsistent of late, and Samuels has flattered to deceive for a long time. As for Dwayne Smith, he no longer deceives - he always hits a six over midwicket and then promptly gets out.
Fidel Edwards, on the other hand, seems to have come of age in England, where he bowled with pace and fire. If Daren Powell and Pedro Collins give him good support, West Indies might at last have something resembling a potent attack.
However, unless Gayle has a monster tournament, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul's golden string of scores continues, West Indies will be short of runs to trouble the top sides.
West Indies will need to be at their best to get past Bangladesh in the preliminary round, but even if they do get past that hurdle, I don't expect them to reach the semi-finals. Rating: 6/10
Ian Chappell's take on South Africa
Despite their competitiveness and athleticism in the field, South Africa impress as a team who are more known for their words than their deeds. They also have a very one-dimensional attack and approach to the game: they rely too heavily on pace and containment as their main avenue for keeping their opponents in check. There's no doubt that they have some brilliant individual players, but they struggle to put it together as a team. The last time they played a major tournament in South Africa - the 2003 World Cup - they succumbed to the high expectations of hometown support.
Since they rely too much on pace, the attack is susceptible to an opening onslaught by good batsmen. They often find it hard to claw their way back into the game because of the lack of good spin options. Similarly, their batsmen can be reined in by good spin options, which means that they are fortunate Australia and Sri Lanka are in the other group of four in the Super Eights section.
In batting they will be reliant on good scores from Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs to put opponents under pressure. If those two fail, a lot will fall on the shoulders of Mark Boucher, now that Jacques Kallis' secure technique is not there to provide a middle-order security blanket.
They badly need Makhaya Ntini to take early wickets and Shaun Pollock to do his usual containing job, and while they'll miss Andre Nel's aggression, his replacement, Morne Morkel, has the makings of a very good cricketer.
I'll be surprised if South Africa make the semi-finals, and even this goal will be well beyond them if they remain uptight in front of the home crowd. Rating: 6/10
Two experienced sides, each boasting quality domestic T20 competition, I too see two somewhat evenly matched teams perhaps a bit overly reliant on their batting prowess.
West Indies will rely on their key batsmen - with more than adequate support from others - in Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels. South Africa will depend heavily on Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs and Shaun Pollock down the order for most of their runs, strongly supported by an array of others who can also bat. In terms of T20 batting and perhaps a useful over or two, I see the teams as evenly matched with West Indies having a dark horse in Darren Sammy and South Africa having one of their own in Albie Morkel. Both can contain the opposition batsmen with disciplined bowling, and can score valuable runs for their respective teams with controlled aggression.
I’d give South Africa the edge in fielding and West Indies in bowling. South Africa lacks the variety in their bowling that West Indies doesn’t, and West Indies, especially after the early retirement of Ricardo Powell, lacks the type of edge Jonty Rhodes’ men have been successfully made into a tradition. Both teams possess excellent men behind the stumps. Mark Boucher is one of the best in the business, as young Denesh Ramdin will surely prove to be before we know it.
All in all, a delicious inaugural match on the menu, a match which I pick my old favorites West Indies to win.