Royal Challengers Bangalore v Deccan Chargers, IPL, Bangalore May 7, 2012

Read the situation to perfection - De Villiers

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Royal Challengers Bangalore needed 39 to win off 18 balls against Deccan Chargers, as AB de Villiers prepared to face Dale Steyn, who had two overs remaining. The first delivery of the 18th over disappeared for a flat six over midwicket, the beginning of 23 game-changing runs in Steyn's over. De Villiers said, after Royal Challengers won with seven balls to spare, he had read the situation to "perfection".

"I guess we know each other pretty well," de Villiers said of his battle against Steyn. "I can't take anything away from Dale, he could have knocked me over with any of those balls, unfortunately for him I read it well, it was just my night.

"I thought I saw him whispering to Sanga [Kumar Sangakkara]. I think they took the fine leg back. I was quite lucky, I saw them communicating about where to bowl and I saw Sanga saying short of a length and I was expecting the short delivery upfront. From there on I knew he was going to go full. I just nominated that over well, on another day he might knock me over."

De Villiers began his innings when Royal Challengers needed 76 off 37 balls, and he finished unbeaten on 47 off 17 deliveries. His awareness of the situation was so complete that, after taking 22 off the first five balls of that Steyn over, de Villiers intentionally steered the final delivery to third man to keep strike for the penultimate over. He then hit the first three balls of the 19th over from Anand Rajan to the boundary as well.

"I enjoyed the situation tonight, I came in [with] 80 [to get] off 40-odd balls. I knew what was required and played to that kind of game plan and, like I said before, my game plan paid off tonight. On another night it might not, so I took full advantage tonight.

"I won't say I'm a finisher of the game. I'd like to think of myself as a guy who can play anywhere, that's something I've worked on in my whole career. I'd like to be a guy that can adjust to certain situations and that's something I strive for. I can even get better hopefully as there's lots of room for improvement."

While de Villiers provided the finish, Royal Challengers had significant contributions from other batsmen as well. Tillakaratne Dilshan scored 71 off 54 balls, while Chris Gayle adapted to playing second fiddle during a 91-run opening stand. "I thought Dilshan played an amazing knock, and even Chris, it was a much-needed foundation we needed," de Villiers said. "We've collapsed a few times in the IPL before, so we needed that foundation to finish it off well at the end, and luckily for me I was in that kind of situation to do so."

And before de Villiers launched his attack on Steyn, Mayank Agarwal had given Royal Challengers valuable propulsion by hitting 18 off the six balls he faced. It was overshadowed by the extraordinary flurry of boundaries that followed, but de Villiers acknowledged the importance of Agarwal's contribution.

"Some of the guys around me played amazing knocks. Mayank Agarwal took a lot of pressure off me with those boundaries he hit," de Villiers said. "It was either him or me who had to take a lot of risks, and he did it before I did. So he played a very important hand tonight and set it up well for me. I could just go and play the situation at the end."

The win helped Royal Challengers move to fifth spot in the league, overtaking Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rawcrickettalent on May 8, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    Best Batsman:- Ab D' villiers... Best Fast Bowler:Dale Steyn... Best spin Bowler:Saeed Ajmal.... Best Wicketkeeper batsman: Matt Prior.........Agree...??? its only about these days....

  • Teja_Smart on May 8, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    Wait guys.... V hav to see Malinga vs AB.... Styen didnt bowl yorkers.... Malinga is there to play with AB's talent.. :)

  • All_IS_WELL on May 8, 2012, 1:51 GMT

    its power of double D (De Villiers and Dilshan )

  • shovwar on May 8, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    @cric_freakNo2..and the others who read his comment...With no disrespect you have stated some great innings but MISSED OUT on the innings of all the innings by no doubt the innings of the century (unparallel). Yes wut u sed about AB's innings yesterday and Ponting's 2003 WC innings are among the best. Maybe there are some other innings like that which might have slipped our mind. Lara, Sachin played some unforgettable innings and Zulu in WC 99 played some great match winning innings. But the innings I am going to talk about now I m pretty much sure no one can differ. Not even u sir. It was in Johannesburg in 2005. OZ n SA were tied 2-2 and it was the last match of the ODI series. Ponting and co piled up a mammoth World Record score of 435. Any team would give up after that. But not, it was broken the same day which is a world record itself. All the records were being broken on the process. I would name only 1 bloke...And the rest u kno......HERSHELL GIBBS...

  • praj92 on May 7, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    AB needs to play 1 down instead of kohli atleastuntil he finds his feat

  • gudolerhum on May 7, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    The true beauty of de Villiers innings of 47 was that he hardly needed to be particularly unorthodox. He can achieve carnage with decent cricket technique, such is his skill with the bat. He makes it look easy which is the mark of a great player. He has to be rated among the top in the world at this time in all forms of the game and he can go on to even greater levels. Keep on AB, luv ya!

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Superb innings u beauty..ABD is reallly the ABCD of cricket.....A.b u Rocks...

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    bangalore rocks jai rcb..................................................................

  • dummy4fb on May 7, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    If u can hit Steyn for 24 runs,then surely u r exceptional..wat makes AB difficult to bowl at is his range of unorthodox shots that can outwit the best of the best in the game...

  • SurlyCynic on May 7, 2012, 14:27 GMT

    Rally_Windies: There weren't 6 yorkers, the first ball was short and went for 6.

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