Playing against Mumbai Indians at their home ground, AB de Villiers sent their bowlers on a leather hunt with a a breathtaking century – his first in the IPL in over six years. His knock was instrumental in Royals Challengers Bangalore move into the top four of IPL 2015 as it helped them beat Rohit Sharma’s side by 39 runs. ABD, along with Virat Kohli, looted the home team’s bowling attack for 24 fours and eight sixes in a second-wicket partnership that was worth a record 215 runs from 101 balls, leaving Mumbai Indians shell shocked. He also registered the highest ever IPL total for a non-opener.
This was de Villiers at his era-defining best 133 from just 59 balls, at a strike-rate of 225.42, a personal best for him in the tournament and the third-highest individual score in IPL history. Rarer in the IPL have their been more fluent alliances between two batsmen; that they happened to be two of the best batsmen in today’s game made it even more amazing to watch. However, Virat Kohli waxed lyrical about his team’s middle-order super bat saying it was a memorable day for him to stand and watch de Villiers play the way he did from the other end.
Speaking after the game, Kohli said: “We couldn’t have asked for anything more from the team. I didn’t expect 235 to be honest, I was thinking about 175 after 6 overs, but I was pretty wrong (smiles). It was a memorable day for me watching AB bat at the other end. Beating Mumbai in Mumbai is never easy. They have beaten us here. We want to play consistent cricket”.
The South African’s onslaught today was was a sparkling yet assured one from a very special batsman. Attacking spin was a clear plan from de Villiers. His ability to use his crease and hands to punch the ball inside-out over the infield was exciting, and fetched him a huge chunk of runs off left-arm spinner J Suchith and Harbhajan Singh. ABD went into hyperdrive later on and the next last overs produced 147 runs, with de Villiers leading RCB’s charge spectacularly. He brought up his hundred off just 47 deliveries. His previous IPL century had come on April 23, 2009 in Durban. De Villiers outdid that 54-ball 109 not out with today’s audacious century.
Speaking after receiving the Man of the Match award, de Villiers said: “Things just went my way today. I didn’t start well, but Virat Kohli calmed me down. The basics stay same for all formats. It is just that the rhythm changes. I never decide on a specific game plan before I go in to bat. I always want to keep it simple, watch the ball, keep the head still. Want to wish all Mothers a Happy Mother’s Day. Especially to my Mom and my Mother-in-Law and of course my wife, who’s a Mom-to-be.”