Pundits eat pie as opener AB fails

06 July 2015 - 02:09 By Telford Vice

Late last night, alone in his Dhaka hotel room, just before he put aside the plots and plans for the next step of South Africa's tour of Bangladesh, coach Russell Domingo might have allowed himself a quiet smile. If he didn't, he should have: all that nonsense from the ranks of paid punditry leaning hard on the international playing experience they had and Domingo did not, to say - loudly and repeatedly - that AB de Villiers bats too low in the order were properly shut up.Expectation was indeed high when De Villiers opened the batting in yesterday's first T20. Finally, here was his chance to show what he could do with all 20 overs at his disposal. Here was Domingo's comeuppance for daring to growl that "guys who have been in this situation are throwing darts" in April last year, when the experts pinned SA's failure to win the World T20 on De Villiers batting at No4 and 5.The record, it seemed, was about to be set straight. The world's most innovative, most exciting, most devastating (ag, simply the best) batsman took five balls to get off the mark and slapped the sixth into Mashrafe Mortaza hands in the covers. Gone. For two.Despite De Villiers' dud SA won by 52 runs. Their total of 148-4 was their most modest in the three T20s they have played against Bangladesh, but the bowlers won the match handsomely by dismissing their opponents for 96 - the Tigers' lowest score in a completed innings in their 16 home games in this format."We've got world-class players like AB but we don't rely on him," said Faf du Plessis (who scored a gritty 79 not out), and he wasn't trying to be nasty.

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