PAARL - AB de Villiers is back! And boy, he’s back with a bang! The former Proteas captain returned from a self-imposed sabbatical with a majestic 176 off 103 balls to power the Proteas to 354/6 in the second ODI against Bangladesh at Boland Park.
De Villiers thrilled the strong crowd – albeit mostly Bangladeshi supporters – with some marvellous stroke-play. De Villiers was simply on a different planet to the rest of the South African batsman with even Quinton de Kock not his usual fluent self.
De Kock and Hashim Amla (85 off 92 balls) continued where they left off in Kimberley with another 90-run opening stand, but the former could only get one boundary away during his 46 off 61 balls.
This was in complete contrast to De Villiers, who bludgeoned 15 boundaries and cleared the fence on seven occasions.
Amla was content to play the anchor role during the 120-run partnership with De Villiers as the old friends reacquainted themselves at the crease.
The only joy for Bangladesh was a short period after the initial 10-over powerplay when the World’s No 1 all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan trapped De Kock lbw before sending down a beautiful delivery to clean bowl the Proteas skipper for a three-ball duck.
Unfortunately for the Bangladeshis, that only brought De Villiers to crease earlier to create the carnage he is so well known for. JP Duminy chipped in with a run-a-ball 30 at the end in his first visit to the crease after announcing his retirement from Test cricket recently.
Rubel Hoosain was Bangladesh’s most successful bowler with figures of 4/62, while Shakib ended with 2/60.
Brief Scores: South Africa: 352/6 (De Villiers 176, Amla 85, Rubel 4/62, Shakib 2/64)