If Bangladesh were hoping for a respite in the third One-Day International against South Africa on Wednesday (October 18) after being thoroughly outplayed in the previous games of the tour, then they were proved wrong as AB de Villiers massacred them with his trademark explosive batting to guide the Proteas to the series win.
Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock once again gave the hosts a good start by adding 90 runs before Shakib Al Hasan brought the visitors right back into the game by dismissing the latter and Faf du Plessis. However, what followed after that was destroyed as de Villiers scored a career-best 176 to propel South Africa to a mammoth 353 for 6 in the allotted 50 overs. The stunning innings came off just 104 balls and was studded with 15 fours and seven sixes.
In reply, Bangladesh began on a positive note and were 162 for two before Imran Tahir changed the course of the game by ending a 93-run stand between Imrul Kayes and Mushfiqur Rahim by dismissing the former as Bangladesh’s chase eventually fizzled out, and they were all out for just 249.
Speaking after the loss, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said that his team began the chase with a positive intent and admitted that Tahir’s two quick wickets were a big blow for the Tigers.
“It was a do or die match for us and we started the chase with a positive intent,” said Mortaza. “Unfortunately Tamim got out but although Mushfiq [Mushfiqur Rahim] and Imrul [Kayes] batted well [it was not enough],” he added.
“If they could take us to somewhere when we needed to chase 100 runs in last ten overs with seven or eight wickets in hand, we could have attempted. This happens quite often in this format as well as in the Twenty20s.
“Imran Tahir picked two wickets pretty quickly, and it was a big blow for us in the middle,” he added.
Mashrafe further lauded de Villiers for his exceptional knock and said that the runs scored by the right-handed batsman after he completed his century made a big difference.
“Every team lacks an AB de Villiers. He can destroy any bowling attack on his day. Shakib had brought us back a little bit after taking two wickets,” he said.
“If we could have got the wicket of AB, then it could have been a different story. AB [has] played these type of innings a few times in his career now. As a bowler anything less than 100%, he is going to pounce on you. If we could have removed him early, we may as well have won the game,” Mortaza noted.
“If he got out at 100, we could have still been in the game. The next 76 runs made a lot of difference. He can destroy any team on his day. There were a few chances here and there but it wasn’t our day. Hopefully we will bounce back,” the 34-year-old added.
The teams will not play the inconsequential third ODI on Sunday (October 22) at the Buffalo Park in East London.