AB de Villiers set for early return to Blast action with Middlesex

AB de Villiers enjoyed a sparkling Middlesex debut Getty Images

AB de Villiers has agreed an early return to action for Middlesex in this season's Vitality Blast, after signing off from his initial stint with the club with another match-winning knock against Surrey at Lord's on Thursday.

De Villiers made 64 from 40 balls, adding 115 for the fourth wicket with Eoin Morgan in just 10.2 overs, to help overwhelm Surrey by 64 runs in front of a 27,773 sell-out crowd in the London derby.

It was his third fifty in five games, following previous scores of 88 not out on his debut against Essex and 88 against Somerset at Richmond. His tally of 253 runs have been scored at an average of 84.33 - the highest of any batsman in the competition to date - and at a strike-rate of 191.66.

De Villiers now takes a three-week mid-tournament break with Middlesex well-placed in the tournament standings. They are third in the table with five wins from seven games, and poised to go top if they can beat current leaders Sussex at Hove on Friday night.

His initial agreement with the club had been to return for the knock-outs should Middlesex qualify - the quarter-finals will be staged between September 4 and 7 with Finals Day at Edgbaston on September 21.

But, if the club are still in the frame for qualification at the end of August, de Villiers has now agreed to return in time for their final two South Group fixtures, against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on August 29 and Somerset at Taunton on August 30.

Speaking after his Blast debut at Lord's last month, de Villiers said: "I felt comfortable the minute I walked into the dressing room with the boys. They welcomed me with open arms, and that plays a big role in getting players from overseas feeling comfortable."