Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi, 2nd day November 21, 2010

de Villiers dedicates double to Smith

ESPNcricinfo staff

AB de Villiers wrote his name into the record books in the course of his unbeaten double-hundred, passing Graeme Smith's record in reaching 278 not out before South Africa declared at 584 for 9, and paid tribute to the man whose record he now holds at the end of the second day's play. "I'd like to dedicate that knock to Graeme," said de Villiers. "He showed a lot of class in his captaincy by allowing me to go through and to get that record. I thought we could have declared a bit earlier but he wanted me to push on and to get that record.

"I never expected to reach this kind of record. I did start believing when I got my double-hundred in India a couple of years ago, that's definitely when the belief started but before then there was no hope at all. I was just playing the game for the fun of it and hoping to get a hundred here and there. The mindset has changed quite a bit and I do know now that I'm capable of scoring big runs and hopefully I will maintain that kind of form."

He pushed the mark one run further than his captain had against England at Edgbaston more than seven years ago, edged three runs past Daryll Cullinan and Gary Kirsten's joint record, and surpassed Graeme Pollock's Test best by a good four runs. But de Villiers needed some help from the tailenders to get to the mark. He was on 160 when Dale Steyn joined him at the crease, and was just nine runs short of his double-hundred when Steyn departed almost 20 overs later, their stand worth 59.

Paul Harris also stuck around, helping add 35 for the ninth wicket and seeing de Villiers through to his double ton. But the best was saved for last as de Villiers and No. 11 Morne Morkel put together an unbroken 107 for the 10th wicket which not only saw de Villiers through to the landmark but also broke a South African record, beating the 103 that Tuppy Owen-Smith and Sandy Bell put on against England at Headingley in 1929.

"All the tailenders that stuck it out with me there today were quite amazing and they were all willing to give me the strike to get to the record," said de Villiers. "They were all willing to come out there and to put their bodies on the line. That even inspired me, to watch Morne and Dale and Harry and all of them getting into line and really taking the knocks for the team.

"It was a very special day, and even more special to get ourselves out of trouble after we were three down early on in the Test match. That's how I play this game, I like to be a team man and to get us out of trouble. It's a very special day and a very special innings."

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  • diren on November 25, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    Razor88 no team in the world would have been able to take 20 wickets on the pitches that the SA v Pak series was think a weak indian bowling attack would have taken wickets?? lol what a joke. and you shouldnt be talking about SA failing to beat pakistan because India ( The so called number 1)were out played and almost lost the series against New Zealand ( which are ranked lowwer than Pakistan ) and it was played in Indias back yard!!!!lol you dont know much about cricket i can see

  • Sibhi on November 24, 2010, 15:01 GMT

    Wow!! See what i Mean... In Spite of Being on top of the game for most of the Match still not able to Finish them Off!! Its Still an "Away series".(It was a Draw Against Inida too :P ) No.02 Drew a Series with a Depleted No.06 :P.Sounds really nice To hear.Now i thought worlds best don't do that.I really wished Asif,Amir,Butt and Danish would have played. Pakistan would have won with matches to spare(ODI n Test) SA dint look That menacing at all.Heck,Why should India be Considered Supreme Only after a win in SA .I guess South africa should Do better here as well :| so whats the point in winning only Home series for them alone ?? To People who are Retards : Ranking is Considered By Which Team has been Consistent and wining Series Over a Period of time.Aus Lost to India in India when they were No.1.Was India Considered No.1 Back then? No,Aus were Better because they won more matches.No body Argued that they should not b No.1.Learn the basics of Math and Cricket then come abt yapping.

  • diren on November 24, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Razor88 you havent answerd my question , will you admit SA is the best team in the world when they destroy India ?? If you compare the teams SA are stronger in every department.....even the batting!!! India are living in the past with Sachin and Dravid and VVs while SA have youth in AB and Amla ( Ranked no1 and NO 2 according to ICC ) we will just have to wait and see what happens latter this year. BUT MY MONEY IS ON SA TO HAMMER INDIA AND CLAIM NUMBER 1 SPOT WHICH THEY DESERVE

  • Sibhi on November 23, 2010, 15:21 GMT

    Continued..... you are Playing on Even keel with a Depleted Pakistan Rem that.... I would have had My moneys on Pakistan If the likes of Asif,Amir and the others who were band Played.DON'T LOOK TOO FAR AHEAD INTO THE HORIZON,YOU MAY END UP IN THE MAN WHOLE RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE :|...

  • Sibhi on November 23, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    Diri - has it happened ??? Looks like You can Predict Result better than SA :O :D. If at all India Loses there,Ranking will Go down and SA will Go to No.1.But The series is Not yet started,Hence i am least Bothered abt it RIGHT NOW.whats in my Mind is For India to Do well in ODI and Paks to Secure a Draw 2mrw.Which is Highly Possible.Plz Don't Come to any kinda Judgment without a Ball being Bowled in the Series.But i Don't think India Is Going to Get Hammered as you say.May be we might Lose.But in any Context of the Game at Present,it will be the Most Foolish thing to write of a team and especially India.Last time when we Toured we were more than Handful.SA had to play out of their skills to win it.but things are Different now.India is a much better unit right now.Start worrying abt if they can Win against Pakistan.A draw won't be Looking good for Your Dream No.1 SA Team :P.They had pakistan on their Neck and still not able to Finish it of... If you wanna know THAT'S CALLED CHOKING

  • diren on November 23, 2010, 8:35 GMT

    Razor88 you living in a dream world. why cant you just admit SA is the best team. We all have even though we like india.... When India go to SA and get hammered 3-0 will you admit then that SA is no1????

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    Yes Razor you are right!!! The people whose careers are stopped in the middle becoz of not getting those hundreds.. It is not necessary to prove to any one (Sachin) that what he is capable off. If he plays, it will become a record that is what he is? Every person wants some recognisation in their career if they looks back the path which they came in, that holds the records. (Sachin) He is not playing for records even after 21 years. He is just playing becoz he cant live without playing cricket. See More

  • Sibhi on November 22, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    PrinceA : And he need only One Ball to get Out :P :D

    To all People who thinks Indians were Selfish and Plays for Record : plz Go back in time :| During A series Against Pakistan Dravid Declared with Sachin UnBeaten on 248*.This was Much Possible than AB's Triple.When asked how he feels abt Missing 250... First thing which came outta His mouth was "The Team is in Good Position n thats what is Important". Don't come here jus for the heck of it.Looks Like Gurus Over here can Tell from here what the Players are thinkin. And lets see how they play when we Get there(SA).People Jus can't take the Fact that INDIANS ARE THE BEST TEAM AT PRESENT. Ask SA to Stop Choking.No.1 Teams DONT CHOKE. ~Peace out~

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    WELL AB played really well.. @PrinceA .. how can u say that indians are selfish..the players have played many matches and its obvious that they do break some records and if india play for records, its contribution is for the team itself...sachin had played for 21 years he will and had broke many records..india deserve to be no. team coz. they gained it in march.. the two test series against SA was a draw and india is in super touch now... with sewhag and sachin at their best.. even dravid is doing a lot better ..scored 191.

  • Ankit on November 22, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    Diri and Tendulkars_Tennis_Elbow............ I agree with you both that South Africans are going to hammer India because they are unselfish unlike the Indians who play for personal records and not for the team. They (South Africa) deserve to be the No.1 side and not India. Cong AB and Hats off to Mr. Smith but I am a little disappointed with you. It would have taken AB just 3-4 overs more to get to 300

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