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!

  • on May 7, 2012, 15:18 GMT

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

  • on May 7, 2012, 14:56 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • on May 7, 2012, 15:18 GMT

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

  • on May 7, 2012, 14:56 GMT

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

  • 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.

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

    Thisn innings of De Villiers has brought a strong romance to IPL. It was a stirring sight to see the best bowler in the world getting hit by the best batsman in the world !

  • cric_freakNo2 on May 7, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    one innings can change ur love towards to cricket and yesterday same thing happened to me after 9long years. situation1:2003 worldcup final-Ponting thrashing all bowlers such that there is no place on whole pitch to bowl.that was mesmerizing performance. situation2:2012 IPL RCB vs DC-AB just smacked the worlds best fast bowler all over the ground and showed that even best can be beaten these 2 situations clearly indicate that there r far most best batsmen in world then who claim to be the best and also T20 is not all about hitting and u cant make it a Test Highlights :) I m really lucky to watch these with my own eyes and i suggest you all to tell me some other innings which r of above class .Thanx in advance

  • Vivek78 on May 7, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Amazingly done by AB...!!! Loved it....!! :)

  • KK_Cricket on May 7, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    Still feel Bangalore and Chennai will fall short and either of Rajasthan or Punjab will go through to the top 4...

  • on May 7, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    A perfect sentence was displayed on the screen of the ground.....

    " That only happens in movies"........AB u were just amazing......i would like to tell Mr. Ajay Jadeja that Ab is the most amazing finisher in all formats....ajay told RCB rely on just gayle....they dnt hv a good finisher.....Mr. Ajay Jadeja....RCB can destroy without Gayle like dis then think what would happen if gayle storm hits the ground with Ab....plzzzz think 100 times before speaking.....

  • on May 7, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    It shows how important overseas players are in IPL, This is the good answer for those who thinks that they should limit the foreign player, My suggestion wll be increasing the foreign player slot to 5 at least.

  • kishore_4DC on May 7, 2012, 13:10 GMT

    words fail to describe AB's brilliance y'day. Dominating a game as an opener is relatively less stressful compared to getting the team from an off gear situation in end to victory. Well, nothing to take away from Steyn, but AB is no kid - if it were some other local batsmen, chances are, Steyn dominating; AB was upto the task. There is a good chance to expect AB to attack and he just did that. As I said in my prev comments, DC continues to be on top of the table (from bottom). Courtesy their team management - DC has got a bunch of new bees who don't know how to play at this level. No point in blaming them, they are trying their, am sure - but these are going to be the results.

    Well played AB. Cricket is nice because of people like you !!!

  • Rally_Windies on May 7, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    I thought Styen should have bowled short as he did at Gayle ...

    and mix in just 1 or 2 yorkers,

    6 yorkers were just to predictable and De Villers guessed right and got into position to play yorkers...

  • on May 7, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    AB de Villiers is fantastic, isn't he? This type of innings will, however, never happen every game and a team's batsmen should not be expected to make up for the same team's poor bowling performances. It is completely unfair to the batsmen. This is exactly what the situation is with RCB, and this is exactly why I keep on insisting that RCB can not afford to drop A. McDonald. On average the latter will give away 26 odd runs per 4 overs bowled, which is pretty good for this tournament. He is more than a decent batsman as well, fairly consistent and on his good batting days he destroys any bowler, batting at a strike rate of 250+. I have seen this with my own eyes in the Australian Big Bash. I wish that RCB management will see that T. Dilshan, generally, but especially on current form, is NO match for him.

  • niroopbhat on May 7, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    AB is so modest in the interview. He's played proper cricketing strokes, no slogging, and still he undermines his performance against the world's best bowler. And he doesn't forget to appreciate what others contributed and dedicates the win to the whole team. All the great cricketers have tremendous talent. But they become Legends by their attitude and behavior off the pitch. AB will certainly be one in the future!

  • chetism on May 7, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    One of the best blokes in cricket today.Always smiling, giving man of the match to his juniors...simply adorable...what a scorcher against DC....a PERFECT answer to Steyn's Yawn arrogance...

  • jabrankundi on May 7, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    Well Done AB. There should be some incentive for the match winners as well. We have the orange cap and the purple cap but where is the cap for people who win matches from impossible situations? Playing good innings to set up your teams victory is one thing(Sehwag, Gambhir, Rahane, Gayle, faf etc) but to create a win from a losing position is another. IPL should have some incentives for poeple like AB and Smith who did so well yesterday. (I don't know why i am bothering about he Cash when they get so much cash as an incentive, lol)

  • on May 7, 2012, 10:51 GMT

    AB was simply at his best yesterday! Steyn could not believe that being world's premier Fast Bowler went for such clobbering by AB;that too after having achieved a maiden against Christopher Gayle!. ABD this authoritative display of sublime batting proves beyond anybody's doubt that he his versatile and the best at the moment.

  • Sriim on May 7, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    Whoa!! Partnership of 38 off 10 balls and One batsman has not faced a ball... Is it not enuf to showcase the other's brilliance... Breathtaking 47 off 17 balls by AB... 145kph bouncer from Steyn, NO FUSS, Pull over midwicket... 149 kph Yorker on middle stump, NO PROBLEM, make room, Six over extracover... Reverse scoop, Conventional scoop, cover drive.... What a man!! Luv u AB.....

  • on May 7, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    take a bow to this man ABD not a rcb fan but he is stil one of my favourite players ,taking to the world best fast bowler with sheer class just tught those slogers like gayle ,pollard and pathan that it all be done with class and proper cricket not by just slogging

  • AjitDJ on May 7, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    I think what's hurting DC most, no matter what they say on the TV, is that even they don't really think they can win. That's why something or the other goes wrong in every match. But the entire criticism should be directed towards the owners and management. You cannot buy a couple of high-profile foreign players and expect them to win every match for you, when most of the domestic players in this team are of club level or even lower.

  • Sandeep.M.J.D on May 7, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    I like this guy, so humble, being one of the best.

  • Viky_Robin on May 7, 2012, 9:38 GMT

    Yorker ball dispatched to extra cover!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for SIX!!!!!!!!!! Oh boy AB what have u done!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TommytuckerSaffa on May 7, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    AB, l love you !! Forever !

  • on May 7, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    unbelievable knock it was... really a shocker of an innings!! i thought like the other games bglore is gong to crash at the end but AB just murdered steyn and once their best bowler was tormented there was less hope for deccan to come back.that sixer over extra cover ,as the commentator said, is the shot of the tournament.. ABD - bows .....

  • on May 7, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    AB = Absolutely Brilliant! Looking forward to the next time the SA'cans plays in a tournament together with guys like AB, Dale, FAFFA, Morne, Marchant, Levi, Albie, Peterson, etc all having some match changing performances so far in the IPL...

    THX IPL, what a priviledge to be a spectator!!

  • PureProtea2012 on May 7, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Wow! The worlds best batsman against the worlds best bowler. I mean Steyn bowls a perfect Yorker and AB still hits it for 6. Incredible!

  • on May 7, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    AB!!! ABsolute Treat to watch you play the strokes... Never seen a cricketer so far with such great game spirit.. 1. Shares the Man-of-Match along with bowler(Appanna) for this good spell. 2. Takes team to the winning edge and allows non-strike to score the winning run. 3. After brilliant 48 runs just 2 runs to win & half-century, takes a single allowing non-strike to have bat. RCB should be very grateful to you. AB ROCKS !!!!!

  • on May 7, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    It is all AB's day.. Hope Styne gives it back soon .. :) But AB has talent of hitting the balls anywhere in the field..

    Of course, I like the statements he made... :)

  • mansoor777 on May 7, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    For Me , AB de Villiers is the Best and No 1 T20 Player ( better than gayle). he is so perfect , nobody can play shots like him. hat off AB

  • on May 7, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    AB de villiers is the best batsman in the world at the moment, hands down!

  • on May 7, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    What a fantastic player AB de Villiers is. He makes me so proud to be South African. With him at the helm of our World Cup T20 squad South Africa can actually win this cup. Nothing seems impossible with him. It is a really great feeling to have as a South African cricket supporter, one we have not had for decades in South African cricket.

  • on May 7, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Not only yesterday ..his stroke play is always unbelievable...he can make a six off a deadly yorker.... arguably the best batsman in the world at the moment... he always taking on the most dangerous bowlers...yesterday it was Daale Steyn ...it was unbelievable... this is not new.... That is how AB De Villiers plays since iwe are watching him.... this is called Pure talent ...

  • sachin_vvsfan on May 7, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    By far the best in this IPL among whoever faced steyn. This man has more accomplishments to come. I am a DC fan but enjoyed your innings.

  • AnilKumarK on May 7, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Really a Wonderful knock AB!!!!! take a bow Sir. And it reminded me about the Virat's wonderful knock against Malinga's over in Australia... Both took on the Most dangerous pace bowlers who can change the match instantly... Wonderful, that's all i can say.

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  • AnilKumarK on May 7, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Really a Wonderful knock AB!!!!! take a bow Sir. And it reminded me about the Virat's wonderful knock against Malinga's over in Australia... Both took on the Most dangerous pace bowlers who can change the match instantly... Wonderful, that's all i can say.

  • sachin_vvsfan on May 7, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    By far the best in this IPL among whoever faced steyn. This man has more accomplishments to come. I am a DC fan but enjoyed your innings.

  • on May 7, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    Not only yesterday ..his stroke play is always unbelievable...he can make a six off a deadly yorker.... arguably the best batsman in the world at the moment... he always taking on the most dangerous bowlers...yesterday it was Daale Steyn ...it was unbelievable... this is not new.... That is how AB De Villiers plays since iwe are watching him.... this is called Pure talent ...

  • on May 7, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    What a fantastic player AB de Villiers is. He makes me so proud to be South African. With him at the helm of our World Cup T20 squad South Africa can actually win this cup. Nothing seems impossible with him. It is a really great feeling to have as a South African cricket supporter, one we have not had for decades in South African cricket.

  • on May 7, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    AB de villiers is the best batsman in the world at the moment, hands down!

  • mansoor777 on May 7, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    For Me , AB de Villiers is the Best and No 1 T20 Player ( better than gayle). he is so perfect , nobody can play shots like him. hat off AB

  • on May 7, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    It is all AB's day.. Hope Styne gives it back soon .. :) But AB has talent of hitting the balls anywhere in the field..

    Of course, I like the statements he made... :)

  • on May 7, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    AB!!! ABsolute Treat to watch you play the strokes... Never seen a cricketer so far with such great game spirit.. 1. Shares the Man-of-Match along with bowler(Appanna) for this good spell. 2. Takes team to the winning edge and allows non-strike to score the winning run. 3. After brilliant 48 runs just 2 runs to win & half-century, takes a single allowing non-strike to have bat. RCB should be very grateful to you. AB ROCKS !!!!!

  • PureProtea2012 on May 7, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Wow! The worlds best batsman against the worlds best bowler. I mean Steyn bowls a perfect Yorker and AB still hits it for 6. Incredible!

  • on May 7, 2012, 9:20 GMT

    AB = Absolutely Brilliant! Looking forward to the next time the SA'cans plays in a tournament together with guys like AB, Dale, FAFFA, Morne, Marchant, Levi, Albie, Peterson, etc all having some match changing performances so far in the IPL...

    THX IPL, what a priviledge to be a spectator!!