Sharjah, October 13
While Virat Kohli scored a ‘sedate’, by T20 standards, 33 off 28 balls, scoring at a rate of 117.85, AB de Villiers smashed 73 off 33, with six sixers and five fours, against Kolkata Knight Riders last night. He propelled Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were 78/1 after 10 overs and 111/2 after 15, to 194/2 in 20 — 83 runs in the last five overs.
It helped that four of the last five overs were bowled by bowlers low in experience or ability, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Andre Russell, Prasidh Krishna. With de Villiers on rampage, they were helpless against him. However, de Villiers also hit Pat Cummins, the world’s No. 1 Test bowler, for two sixers in the 17th overs.
RCB registered an 82-run win after Yuzvendra Chahal (1/12) and Washington Sundar (2/20) restricted KKR to 112/9.
The innings by the 36-year-old de Villiers, who is retired from international cricket, left even Kohli amazed. “This pitch was drier. And the day was pleasant so we thought there would be no dew. Barring one superhuman, every batsman struggled on the pitch. The talk was around getting 165, but we got 194 you know exactly why. It was unbelievable,” Kohli said.
“I thought I had a few balls under my belt, and I might start striking. He (de Villiers) just came in and struck the third ball, and said he felt good. You might see a lot of people do what is done in other games, but only AB can did what he did. It was a fabulous knock,” Kohli added.
He said it was only due to the genius of de Villiers that his side got to 194. “I was happy we could string together a partnership (of 100 runs), and mine was the best seat to watch from,” the Indian captain said.
De Villiers, the Man of the Match, said he surprised himself with his innings. “I got a duck last game, that is a terrible feeling. I am very happy that I contributed. I surprised myself today, to be honest. We were headed towards 140-150, and I thought I might try for 160-165, but I was surprised we reached 194,” said the star South African. — TNS, Agencies
Ravi Shastri urges de Villiers to unretire
AB de Villiers retired from international cricket over two years ago, and last year, there was some speculation that he might make a return for the ODI World Cup in England, but it didn’t work out. Ravi Shastri, the Indian head coach, has now urged the South African to come back to international cricket. “Now, that the penny has dropped. What one saw last night was unreal. And the feeling is the same waking up. AB de Villiers, the game in these trying times or otherwise needs you back in the international arena and out of retirement. The game will be better off,” Shastri wrote on Twitter.
CSK beat Hyderabad by 20 runs
Dubai: Chennai Super Kings defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 20 runs in their IPL match here today. Shane Watson top-scored for CSK with a 42-run knock while Sandep Sharma (2/19) was the pick of the bowlers for SRH. Kane Willianson scored 57 for SRH while Dwayne Bravo and Karn Sharma took two wickets apiece for CSK. PTI
Brief scores: CSK: 167/6 (Watson 42, Rayudu 41; Sharma 2/19, T Natarajan 2/41); SRH: 147/8 (Williamson 57, Bairstow 23; Sharma 2/37, Bravo 2/25).