Cape Town - Bangladesh would have levelled the three-match ODI series if AB de Villiers had gone out early says Tigers skipper Mashrafe Mortaza.
However, it wasn't to be as De Villiers produced a blistering performance that saw the former Proteas skipper fall 12 runs short of Gary Kirsten's 188* - the highest score by a South African in ODI cricket.
The Proteas sat at 90/2 when De Villiers walked into the middle, but the Proteas star batsman soon took control of the match smashing 176 off 104 balls, which included 15 fours and 7 sixes.
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Mortaza praised De Villiers for his sparkling ton and said that if the Bangladesh bowling attack could have gotten him out early - the game would have ended differently.
"Every team lack an AB de Villiers. He can destroy any bowling attack on his day. Shakib brought us back a little bit after taking two wickets. If we could get the wicket of AB then it could have been a different story," said Mortaza, as quoted by the Dhaka Tribune.
"As a bowler anything less than 100 percent, he is going to pounce on you. If we could have removed him early, we may as well have won the game.
"If he got out at 100, we could have still been in the game. The next 76 runs made a lot of difference."
The Proteas went on to win the second ODI in Paarl by 104 runs and clinch the three-match ODI series but Mortaza hopes the Tigers can bounce back in East London.
"There were a few chances here and there but it wasn't our day. Hopefully we will bounce back," he said.
The third and final ODI gets underway on Sunday at Buffalo Park in East London.
Play starts at 10:00.