London - When Ottis Gibson was named coach of the Proteas back in August 2017, he took some time before unveiling his backroom coaching staff.
When he did, he announced the appointment of former Durham team-mate Dale Benkenstein as South Africa's new batting coach.
While few could argue with that decision - Benkenstein has more experience than most - it meant that former Proteas batsman Neil McKenzie was let go.
McKenzie, who played 58 Tests and 64 ODIs for the Proteas between 2000 and 2009, had operated as the South African batting coach under Russell Domingo from 2016 until Gibson's appointment the following year.
On Sunday at The Oval, McKenzie came back to haunt Gibson and the Proteas.
The 43-year-old is currently at the 2019 World Cup where he is serving as Bangladesh's batting consultant, and he looked on as his side secured a famous 21-run win in what would have been a bitter-sweet moment for McKenzie.
"He's amazing," Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said of McKenzie.
"He's been helping our batters so much for the last eight or so months ... working hard with the boys."
Having been sent into bat against an attack that included the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Imran Tahir, the Bangladeshi batsmen were superb in setting 330/6 from their 50 overs.
It would prove to be more than enough, but what would have been particularly pleasing to McKenzie was how well his batsmen dealt with the South African short-pitched bowling throughout the innings.
From the openers through to the lower order, the Bangladesh batsmen were comfortable with the pace of the Proteas while they scored 59 runs in their last five overs to show that they have improved dramatically in their ability to accelerate at the back-end of an innings.
As poor as South Africa were with the ball, Bangladesh were superb with the bat.
"There are still a few areas we can improve and hopefully we'll move on from here," Mortaza said.
"We have the momentum and we would love to keep it going. Neil has been working hard for us, and hopefully he will stay with us for a long time."
Bangladesh are next in action when they take on New Zealand at The Oval on Wednesday while the Proteas must prepare for a testing outing against India in Southampton on the same day.
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Posted by: mozart (29792 posts)
Jun 04, 2019, 05:35
Bitter/sweet for McKenzie.....why do I think it was less bitter than sweet.