AB de Villiers is considered a freak when it comes to cricket. Dubbed Mr.360 for his ability to hit any kind of stroke on any side of the wicket, the South Africa batsman is an asset to any side he represents, be it South Africa or Royal Challengers Bangalore. During their clash against Kings XI Punjab, de Villiers showed why he is the ultimate legend as he rescued Royal Challengers Bangalore from a precarious position against Ravichandran Ashwin’s side. Royal Challengers Bangalore were reeling at 81/4 in the 10th over when de Villiers was joined by Marcus Stoinis out in the middle.
De Villiers and Stoinis stitched a solid stand and towards the end overs, both batsmen cut loose and tore into the Kings XI Punjab bowling. The 19th over, bowled by Mohammed Shami, witnessed carnage as de Villiers blasted two consecutive sixes and put Royal Challengers Bangalore on course for 200. On the fifth ball, the thousands of fans at the stadium witnessed a freak act. Shami bowled a waist-high full toss and de Villiers was surprised by the height. The batsman took his eyes off the ball but swung the bat hard with one hand, the connection was good and the ball sailed outside the stadium for a big six.
Hardus Viljoen conceded 27 runs in the final over with de Villiers and Stoinis both playing some attacking cricket and Royal Challengers Bangalore reached 202/4 at the end of 20 overs. De Villiers 82 off 44 balls included three fours and seven sixes and despite an aggressive knock from Nicholas Pooran, Kings XI Punjab lost by 17 runs with Umesh Yadav taking 3/36 and Navdeep Saini taking 2/33.
De Villiers won the Man of the Match award and speaking after the end of the match, the right-hander 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 well as a team now. I still think 160 was a par score but it gets easier in the second innings,” de Villiers said.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s next game will be against Delhi Capitals at the Feroz Shah Kotla and a win will keep their playoff hopes alive.