Bangladeshi bowlers finally could show some skills in the on-going series against South Africa although a valiant century of AB de Villiers led the Proteas to a massive 353-6 at Paarl on Wednesday.
Rubel Hossain claimed 4-62 while Sakib al Hasan finished with 2-60 but de Villiers brought his class into play against the reinvigorated Tigers to score 176 off 104 balls, his career-best innings that appeared to have made the difference between the two teams.
Despite adding 90 runs in the opening stand, South African openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock never looked as comfortable as they were in the first one-dayer at Kimberley.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza initially gave them some real test with some variations in his first spell before all-rounder Sakib broke the deadlock trapping de Kock leg-before.
It didn’t take much time for the Tigers to get the second breakthrough as the left-arm spinner bowled South African skipper Faf du Plessis for a duck three balls later in the same over.
Before coming to the match, Sakib had an unpleasing record as the number one all-rounder was unable to get a single wicket in his last five one day internationals, longest wicketless streak in his career.
He remained wicketless in all four matches at the ICC Champions Trophy in England and in the first one-dayer against South Africa but Sakib broke the jinx in his fifth over of the innings.
The Protea skipper’s departure made AB de Villiers’s entry in the field which was his first innings since Champions Trophy match against India in June this year.
The right-handed batsman utilised the best of the opportunities and turned his comeback into an unforgettable one with a devastating inning that spared no bowlers.
While de Villiers struck 15 fours and seven sixes alone all the other batsmen could only manage to hit only five fours and a six in the entire innings, which highlighted Bangladesh’s good bowling.
Mashrafee bore the brunt of his onslaught, finishing with 0-82, his worst ever bowling figure in career, which came after the Bangladesh skipper conceded only 16 runs in his first spell of four overs.
Mashrafee had the chance to pick at least one wicket when JP Duminy holed out a catch point but Imrul Kayes dropped it in inexplicably. A demoralised Mashrafee conceded two sixes off his next two balls, which swung momentum finally to South Africa’s way.
De Villiers raised the prospect of becoming the first batsman in history to score a double century in ODI against Bangladesh, but Rubel denied him the feat in the 48th over.
Sabbir Rahman took the catch midwicket as de Villiers left for what eventually turned out to be the third highest score against Bangladesh after Charles Coventry’s 194 not out and Shane Watson’s unbeaten 185.
Rubel later claimed the wickets of Duminy and Dwaine Pretorius to finish with 4-62, the best bowling figure by any Bangladeshi against South Africa.
-With New Age input