Stay safe Sharjah. If you are out on the streets when AB de Villiers is batting, then it would be a good idea to keep your eye out for cricket balls dropping from the sky. Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman AB de Villiers hit a match winning 73 against Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday night in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Described as a 'superhuman effort' by RCB captain Virat Kohli post-match, de Villiers's innings included two sixes which were sent out of the Sharjah Cricket Stadium and into the night traffic in the city.
AB de Villiers just hit a ball so far in Sharjah in the UAE it hit a car on the motorway How is that even possible?! Health and safety folks!!— Ben Mole (@BenMole11) October 12, 2020
Commentators and fans alike were left in awe of de Villiers' batting. After taking a few balls to settle into the innings, de Villiers took off in the 16th over of the innings. He was on 10 off 11 balls when he hit two consecutive sixes off Kamlesh Nagarkoti's bowling. He then launched two sixes each off Pat Cummins and Andre Russell's bowling. By the end of his onslaught, de Villiers had scored 73 in just 33 balls.
Virat Kohli said AB de Villiers's 73 against Kolkata Knight Riders was a 'superhuman effort' as every other batsmen struggled on the dry Sharjah pitch.
RCB registered a massive 82-run win on the back of de Villiers' unbeaten 33 ball blitzkrieg and the guile of Yuzvendra Chahal (1/12) and Washington Sundar (2/20), who were instrumental in stifling KKR to 112 for nine chasing 195.
"This pitch was drier. And the day was pleasant so we thought there would be no dew. Barring one superhuman, every batsman struggled on the pitch. The talk was around getting 165, but we got 194 you know exactly why. It was unbelievable," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
"I thought I had a few balls under my belt, and I might start striking. He (de Villiers) just came in and struck the third ball, and said he felt good. You might see a lot of people do what is done in other games, but only AB can do what he did. It was a fabulous knock," Kohli added.
Kohli, who remained not out on 33 from 28 balls, said it was only thanks to the genius of de Villiers that his side got to 194 for two.
"I was happy we could string together a partnership (of 100 runs), and mine was the best seat to watch from," he added.
De Villiers, who was adjudged man of the match, said he surprised himself with a stupendous knock.
"I got a duck last game, that is a terrible feeling. I am very happy that I contributed. I surprised myself today to be honest. We were headed towards 140-150, and I thought I might try for 160-165, but I was surprised we reached 194," said the star South African batsman.
"The margins are very small when Cummins and Russell are running in, and you need to use every bit of energy in you to keep the momentum going. I felt that energy in the bus already," he added.
KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik admitted that de Villiers's knock made all the difference in the match.
"AB is a world-class player. He is hard to stop. He was the difference between the two teams. We tried everything. The only ball was the perfect inswinging yorker. Anything else was going," he said.