AB de Villiers smashed 176 as the Proteas set Bangladesh a target of 354 for victory in the second ODI in Paarl. JON CARDINELLI reports.
It’s worth noting that De Villiers was denied an opportunity to bat in his comeback match for the Proteas last Sunday. Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla dominated the Bangladesh attack on that occasion to steer South Africa to a resounding 10-wicket victory.
The Proteas openers made a quieter start to the second ODI in Paarl on Wednesday. Shakib Al Hasan dismissed De Kock and skipper Faf du Plessis in the space of four balls. At that stage, the Proteas were cruising at five runs per over.
De Villiers sought to dominate the Bangladesh bowlers from the outset. His arrival at the crease lifted the run-rate significantly, and together De Villiers and Amla put on 136 runs for the third wicket in 108 balls. De Villiers reached his century, his first against Bangladesh in this format, in 68 balls.
One got the sense that more fireworks were in the offing, though. The platform was certainly set for a big score, with South Africa heading into the final 10 overs with 255 runs and seven wickets in hand.
De Villiers found another gear as the end of the innings approached. A big six on the on-side brought up his 150 in 93 balls. It took De Villiers just 25 deliveries to convert 100 into 150.
And he wasn’t done yet. De Villiers continued to find the fence in the final overs. He surpassed his previous best score of 162, and then set his sights on Gary Kirsten’s South African record of 188.
De Villiers fell 13 runs short of breaking that record, though, when he mistimed a big shot to midwicket and was caught in the deep. Nevertheless, it was a fine display of hitting that won’t be forgotten any time soon.
Bangladesh are now starting down the barrel of another loss to the Proteas, and ultimately a 2-0 series defeat.
SA 353-6 (50 overs) – AB de Villiers 176, Hashim Amla 85, Quinton de Kock 46, Rubel Hossain 4-62
Bangladesh need 354 runs to win
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images