South Africa hammered Bangladesh by 104 runs in Paarl on Wednesday to win the ODI series 2-0. JON CARDINELLI reports.
Ottis Gibson could not have asked for a better batting performance across the first two games of his tenure. Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla clubbed together to produce a record-breaking partnership of 282 in Kimberley. Four days later in Paarl, AB de Villiers showed the new Proteas coach what he is capable of, with a sparkling knock of 176 off 104 balls, his highest score in ODI cricket.
The upshot is that the Proteas have completed two resounding wins and have taken an unassailable lead in the three-game series. The hosts will be favourites to win the remaining ODI in East London on Sunday and complete a whitewash of a toothless Tigers outfit.
De Kock and Amla got the Proteas off to a solid, if unspectacular start in Paarl. The complexion of the contest changed, however, when De Villiers strode to the crease.
Amla and De Villiers put on 136 runs off 108 balls for the third wicket. De Villiers cruised to his century in 68 deliveries, and then shifted gears again as the final 10 overs approached.
South Africa’s star batsman proceeded to hammer the Bangladesh bowlers to the on-side fence. If he had maintained his effort in the last couple of overs, and not holed out to mid-wicket, De Villiers may well have surpassed Gary Kirsten’s ODI record of 188 and subsequently the 200-mark.
De Villiers’ knock boosted the Proteas to a total of 353-6 and took the game away from Bangladesh. While the Tigers batsmen showed some spirit over the course of their innings, they were never going to keep up with that asking rate.
The overall performance was far from perfect. Dane Paterson had a debut to forget when he leaked 69 runs in nine overs in Kimberley. The seamer was expensive again in Paarl, conceding 67 runs in nine overs. He wasn’t helped by his teammates, though. Several chances were put down off Paterson’s bowling.
Imrul Kayes and Mushfiqur Rahim were allowed to settle during the middle stages of the visitors’ innings. As they grew in confidence, they began to play their shots and enjoy success against the likes of Imran Tahir. Skipper Faf du Plessis opted to back his less experienced seamers instead of bringing premier bowler Kagiso Rabada back into the attack.
The asking rate continued to climb, though, and Tahir eventually got Kayes caught on the off side. The leg-spinner claimed his second wicket when Shakib Al Hasan was caught behind by De Kock.
The departure of Mushfiqur Rahim signalled the end as far as Bangladesh’s run chase was concerned. Andile Phehlukwayo fired up to clean up the tail – claiming career-best figures of 4-40 in the process – and the visitors finished well short of the target.
SA 353-6 (50 overs) – AB de Villiers 176, Hashim Amla 85, Quinton de Kock 46, Rubel Hossain 4-62
Bangladesh 249 (47.4 overs) – Imrul Kayes 68, Mushfiqur Rahim 60, Andile Phehlukwayo 4-40, Imran Tahir 3-50
South Africa won by 104 runs
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix