149 vs West Indies, Johannesburg, 2015
There is no denying the fact that AB de Villiers in full flow is a delight for every cricket fan. And on this day, it was the West Indies bowlers who faced the brunt of an ABD onslaught. Not only did he hit the fastest 50 — off just 16 balls — but also went ahead and hit the fastest 100, off just 31 balls. There was no corned in the ground where the ball didn’t fly into. Riding on his knock, South Africa posted 439 runs and there was no returning from there for the West Indies batsmen.
112 vs India, Chennai, 2015
Riding on a brilliant hundred from Virat Kohli (138), India had scored a challenging 299/8 on a sluggish Chennai track. What looked like an easy target to defend, turned on its head as South Africa skipper ABD decided to counter-attack. Despite wickets falling at the other end, de Villiers kept scoring runs and finally finished with an impressive 112 off just 107 balls. It was not until his dismissal in the 45th over that MS Dhoni and his boys were certain of a win. It was incidentally his last ODI hundred.
103* vs Pakistan, Lahore, 2007
Scoring against Pakistan in their den isn’t the easiest thing to do. Agreed that Pakistan didn’t have the services of the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, but they did have the likes of Umar Gul and Sohail Tanvir. And despite that, AB took it on him to score a 95-ball 103 and put on 137 with Herschelle Gibbs as South Africa batted Pakistan out of the game. Makhaya Ntini then picked 4 wickets with the ball as South Africa won the game by 45 runs.
102 vs India, Ahmedabad, 2010
The series will always be remembered for Sachin Tendulkar’s double hundred in Gwalior, but not many can forget the 173 runs he added with Jacques Kallis off just 17.1 overs to take the game away from the Indians. Hitting 102 off just 59 balls is no mean feat on the slower Indian wickets, but ABD did that in style and showed the world that he had the prowess to take on opposition teams at their own den.
136 vs Australia, Harare, 2014
Riding on Aaron Finch’s century, Australia had posted a match-winning 327/7 in their 50 overs. But the smiles in the Aussie camp started to evaporate as old buddies Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers united at the crease. While Faf looked to mix caution with aggression, the skipper meant business as he hit 136 off just 106 balls and took the Australian attack comprising the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc to the cleaners. Such was ABD’s domination that the Proteas won the game with 20 balls to spare. It was the first game of the tri-series and setting the tone against a quality outfit was a must.
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First Published: May 23, 2018, 5:59 PM IST