Royal Challengers Bangalore got back to winning ways as they pipped Delhi Capitals by one run at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. This was possible because of only one person, their maverick AB de Villiers. The bowlers definitely played their part by picking up quick wickets and choking Delhi Capitals’ run flow. However, without the late flurry by the South African great, they wouldn’t have had so many runs to defend.
AB de Villiers came down to bat after Glenn Maxwell was removed by Amit Mishra in the 9th over. The former South Africa captain first stitched a 54 run partnership with Rajat Patidar for the 4th wicket, then a quickfire 32 run stand with Daniel Sams for the sixth wicket en route his 75-run knock.
De Villiers hit three fours and five sixes in his 42-ball innings. Later on, after the match when he was asked which one of his shot he liked the most, De Villiers said, “…No offence to KG but the one over midwicket was my best one. I don’t often get him away, but I’m happy I managed to get him away for that one. ”
De Villiers, who has been with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) since 2011 is currently IPL’s sixth-highest run-getter with 5053 runs in 161 innings. Before the start of the IPL 2021, the last time AB de Villiers played competitive cricket was in the UAE in IPL’s previous season.
“It’s important to be fresh for every game. I worked out at home and during the quarantine in the hotel room, and now it’s just about managing ourselves throughout the tournament and being fresh when we go out there to play,” de Villiers said when asked about his secret of hitting the ground running this year.
During his innings against Delhi Capitals, AB de Villiers reached two milestones. First, he became the quickest to reach 5000 runs in the Indian Premier League in terms of ball faced. The 37-year-old took just 3288 balls to complete 5000 runs. Second, he became the only second overseas batsman to score 5000 runs in the IPL after David Warner.
Just like de Villiers, his RCB has also been hitting the correct notes this season due to which they are now top of the points table. When asked what the reason behind it he said, “We’ve got a couple of experienced heads and a couple of young Indian bowlers who have done well in international cricket recently. Myself, Maxi and Virat have played a lot. We just try to have fun out there.”
RCB would look to continue the momentum when they take on KL Rahul’s Punjab Kings next on 30th April at the Narendra Modi Stadium.