India v South Africa, Champions Trophy, Group B, The Oval June 11, 2017

Three crucial AB-Faf mix-ups

ESPNcricinfo staff
They're best mates, but on three occasions AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis have been involved in run-outs in big games
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Faf du Plessis and Ab de Villiers have been friends since they were 15 and have grown into two of South Africa's most prolific batsmen. They are also two of the quickest members of their team. Yet, in three crucial games in global ODI tournaments, the pair have been involved in a run-out. On all three occasions, de Villiers was the man dismissed and each time, South Africa fell apart once he was gone.

AB de Villiers was run out for 35 in South Africa's stunning loss to New Zealand in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final © AFP

The loud call in the big choke
New Zealand v South Africa, quarter-final, 2011 World Cup, Dhaka

South Africa were cruising into the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup before two quick wickets reduced them to 121 for 4 in their chase of 222 against New Zealand. With de Villiers and du Plessis at the wicket, there was still no need to panic; there were more than 20 overs in which to get the 101 remaining runs. But du Plessis worked the second ball he faced to the right of short midwicket and set off for a run. De Villiers, who was batting on 35, did not begin running immediately, but du Plessis could be heard desperately calling him through for the single. Despite a dive, de Villiers could not beat Martin Guptill's throw. South Africa never regained momentum and ended up folding for 172 in what is still considered one of their most disappointing losses in one-day cricket.

AB de Villiers' run-out against India in the 2015 World Cup sparked a collapse © Getty Images

De Villiers overestimates his own speed
India v South Africa, Pool B match, 2015 World Cup, Melbourne

In their second game of the 2015 World Cup, South Africa were chasing 308 against India. De Villiers and du Plessis had put on 68 and taken South Africa to 108 for 2 in 22.4 overs when de Villiers drove Ravindra Jadeja to sweeper cover and decided to take on Mohit Sharma's arm and come back for a second run. A fast and accurate throw from Mohit found him short of the crease. There was no real misunderstanding between the batting pair in this instance. It was merely a case of de Villiers misjudging whether he could get back for the second run. After the dismissal, South Africa collapsed to 177 all out. The loss didn't hurt them too much, however, as they made it to the knockout stage.

Another failed dive for de Villiers in a crucial game © AFP

India get de Villiers again
India v South Africa, Group B match, 2017 Champions Trophy, The Oval

This time, both de Villiers and du Plessis set off for the single as soon as the shot was played. But they were both wrong about it being on. South Africa were 140 for 2 against India in a 2017 Champions Trophy game that both sides had to win to make it to the semi-finals. South Africa started slowly, so de Villiers and du Plessis needed to infuse the innings with some urgency. But when de Villiers tapped a Ravindra Jadeja delivery to Hardik Pandya at point, there was never a single on. Neither batsmen recognised that, and an accurate throw from Pandya meant another de Villiers dive went in vain. The dismissal sparked a collapse that left South Africa 191 all out.

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  • bhariii on June 12, 2017, 11:14 GMT

    This is not the only time..it keeps happenning against INdia...in tthe CT2013 Faf and miller got run out....In the 2015WC AB and Miller got run out and now again for the 3rd consecutive time 2 batsman get out again AB and Miller

  •   Vilas Hegde on June 12, 2017, 6:41 GMT

    It was du Plessis who tapped Jadeja ball (wrongly mentioned AB by writer). AB responded to call. It was du Plessis' mistake to call him for single when he just tapped the ball so near to fielder. And du Plessis did same to Miller. And du Plessis got bowled later.

  • Cricinfouser on June 12, 2017, 5:54 GMT

    Big tournament impares saffas judgement clearly.

  • Kelewan on June 11, 2017, 19:48 GMT

    I was at the match today and possesed AB to attempt his own run out is now deeply clasified as a national secret then we had David Miller end up at the same end as Faf, Miller was also the only player on the field to show any motivation by running in for every ball bowled, the we had Chris Morris suddenly try go for a boundry when he was supposed to be steading the innings with JP.

    AB my question for you is where & just when did you motivate your team in any way, very poor captiancy in my view, what possesed you to go for the single in the first place???

  • CricketChat on June 11, 2017, 18:57 GMT

    After a steady opening partnership, it's imperative SA build up the momentum through FAF, ABD and Miller. That's where they completely messed up. SA didn't deserve to win today. Simple as that. I am certain there will be major consequences to this poor show. I expect the coach and captain to be sacrificed by CSA.

  • saffa$-bunch-of-winn€r$ on June 11, 2017, 18:52 GMT

    They never learn......when will they

  • ChillBill_Pande on June 11, 2017, 18:01 GMT

    well! India and England reaching SF owing to their world class team and performance. whereas BD and Pak may reach there due to rains :P

  • Vignesh_Robinfan on June 11, 2017, 16:53 GMT

    The first incident against Newzland was a Quarter Final and not a semi final

  • saffa$-bunch-of-winn€r$ on June 11, 2017, 16:18 GMT

    AB looked in great touch and changed the pace of the game just 12 balls faced..that run out is were india won it...

  • GladStone92 on June 11, 2017, 15:59 GMT

    On these small margins do entire tournaments ride, as SA found out the hard way, again.

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