Dubai: South African legend AB De Villiers has proved he is the best match winner in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) and deserves the title of the Most Valuable Player of this league. He has many times accelerated the run rate through his amazing strokes and ensured a good total and also taken breathtaking catches.
On Wednesday night it was De Villiers’ batting and catching that gave Royal Challengers Bangalore an exciting 17 runs win over Kings XI Punjab. His unbeaten 82 off 44 balls that gave Bangalore a huge total of 202 for 4 and his thrashing of Mohammad Shami deliveries for a hat-trick of sixes which resulted in 21 runs being scored off that over, was the turning point. Punjab that fell short by 17 runs could have easily won the match had De Villiers and Marcus Stoinis, who hit an unbeaten 46, together not piled up 64 runs in the last three overs.
It was also De Villiers two of the three catches he took on the boundary line when Punjab was sailing smoothly towards the target that titled the match in Bangalore’s favour. However high a batsman hits, if it is hit to where De Villiers is stationed, he can surely start walking towards the dug-out. The ability to judge a catch so well by this 35 year old who has retired from international cricket, is as amazing as his strokes while batting.
When De Villiers was asked about how he produces such knocks, he turned humble and said: “I tried to stay calm in the last few overs. It is not easy always, the game is happening at a rapid pace. We know our home ground very well, it hasn't been a great hunting ground for us to start with but we are turning things around now. And we are doing things well now. We are doing good as a team now.”
The fact that he produces such aggressive knocks when he turn calm is interesting and indeed a lesson for youngsters.
It is De Villiers’s show that has now resulted in Bangalore, who looked down and out till a few matches back, are now in reckoning for the playoffs.