AB de Villiers produced a sensational innings of 73* off 33 deliveries in the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s 82-run win over the Kolkata Knight Riders.
De Villiers came into the match off the back of two consecutive single-figure scores, but he put that behind him with an impossibly brilliant hitting exhibition for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
His score featured four fours and five sixes, a few of which disrupted traffic on the three-lane highway that runs alongside the ground.
De Villiers walked to the crease with his side on 94-2 and 7.4 overs remaining, with Aaron Finch (47) and Devdutt Padikkal (32) setting a solid launch pad.
Then De Villiers launched, boy, did he launch. Even at 36 he remains in class of his own. There are certainly gifted T20 players on show in the tournament, many with more runs than the South African, but none with his ability to score freely all around the ground, his fearlessness and imagination and ability to execute what he envisions.
De Villiers has hinted that he would be open to an international return. On the evidence of this innings, and indeed a clutch of others in the tournament, he not only has an international future, but one in which he will continue to be the Proteas’ premier batsman.
Virat Kohli (33*) played a supporting role as RCB set KKR 195 to win. Shubman Gill, KKR’s best batsman to date, stuck around while partners fell at regular intervals.
Gill was run out for 34, and Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell all fell for a combined 23 runs, leaving them struggling at 85-6. There was no return from that position, especially with Washington Sundar (4-2-20) and Yuzvendra Chahal (4-1-12) at their suffocating best.
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