South African AB de Villiers has always been a 'freak' cricketer. There are very few cricketers in world cricket who can adjust to the demands of Test and T20 cricket so wonderfully. There are very few top-notch men who can keep wickets and field in any position on the field with such alacrity.
De Villiers scored a 41-ball 89 not out to script a stunning last-over win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bangalore on Sunday night. The innings could not have been timed better as RCB played their 100th IPL game to join Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in an 'exclusive' club.
Chasing 156 for a win, RCB were in dire straits after being reduced to 38 for three in the seventh over. With skipper Virat Kohli out for 0 and a hobbling Chris Gayle dismissed for a 19-ball 27, it boiled down to the RCB middle-order to make a match of the contest. Batting at No. 5, De Villiers arrived at the party just perfectly. (Related: AB is a 'Freak', says teammate Harshal Patel)
De Villiers' 89, studded with six fours and eight sixes, scored his first fifty in IPL 2014. It was his 11th in 80 IPL games. The knock was the highest by a Bangalore batsman in this year's tournament, outstripping the 57 not out by Parthiv Patel versus Mumbai Indians at Dubai on April 19. (AB de Villiers is the best, says Virat Kohli)
Man of the Match De Villiers' unbeaten 89 is the second highest by a Bangalore batsman against Sunrisers in IPL, next only to Kohli's 93 not out at Bangalore on April 9, 2013. The South African's strike rate of 217.07 is the highest by a RCB batsman in the IPL this year. (AB de Villiers, a True RCB Champion)
De Villiers' tally of 162 runs (average 54.00) in five innings is the highest by a Bangalore batsman in IPL 2014. He will have to keep producing such knocks if RCB have to make the last-four of the competition. Currently, RCB are fourth in the table with six points from as many matches.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)