ABD at 36: Let’s relive De Villiers’ most explosive innings of all-time

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Today, the world is celebrating the 36th birthday of one of the most exciting players to have walked the cricketing field, Mr. Ab de Villiers. Popularly known as Mr. 360, De Villiers is known for his unique playing style and impeccable batting skills.

On the day of his birthday, let us relive one of the most explosive innings that came from his bat.

The year was 2015 and the South African side was playing against West Indies in Johannesburg. He walked out to bat in the 39th over and what happened upon his arrival is something that the world will never forgive. De Villiers started his carnage from the very first ball and sent it through the boundary line for a four. In the first eight balls, he scored 28 runs.

Whoever the bowlers were, he just went towards the boundary line. Jason Holder faced the heat of De Villiers’ blade and was struck for back-to-back sixes. The second sixer completed his half-century and ABD became the fastest batsman to score a half-century in the history of ODI cricket.

When Windies thought that it could not get worse, the Protean legend kept on hitting the balls to the stands. In 42 overs, the Rainbow Nation crossed the 300-run mark. But, he carried on relentlessly by cashing in on everything that came in his hitting zone. Even those decent deliveries which were meant to restore sanity to the proceedings failed to escape punishment.

The viewers and the West Indian team was in awe of De Villiers’ batting style and the way he was slapping the balls to the stands by getting down on knee made him immortal in the game of cricket. The batsman was just a few runs away from his century and after seeing the grim situation, Holder brought himself back into the attack.

De Villiers struck him for a boundary and three consecutive to sixes to cross the 100-run mark off just 31 balls, making him the batsman to score the fastest century in ODI cricket. Having created history, de Villiers still did not show any mercy to the West Indies bowlers and went on to loot 30 runs off the penultimate over.

These heroics from legendary batsman enabled South Africa to post 439/2 in the allotted 50 overs and defeated West Indies by a whopping margin of 148 runs.

This particular inning made everyone grasp for breath and many legends rate that knock from De Villiers as one of the best knocks in the history of ODI cricket. De Villiers announced his retirement in 2018 and is now thinking of making a comeback into the team for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup.  

“I am thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out,” De Villiers said on his comeback.

The ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup will commence from October 18 and will conclude on November 15 in Australia.

Some Other Records Achieved By AB de Villiers during career: 

  • He has the highest strike-rate in an innings for a batsman facing 30 or more deliveries (338.63 vs West Indies)
  •  Only South African batsman to have more than 200 sixes in ODIs (204 sixes)
  •  South Africa’s second-highest run-getter in a Test inning (278 vs Pakistan) 
  • Second on the list of highest-number of half-centuries for a South African batsman in Tests (46 half-centuries)
  • Only second South African batsman to have 50+ average in Tests after playing more than 150 innings (50.66) 
  • Third fastest batsman to score 7000 ODI runs (166 innings)
  • Third fastest batsman to achieve 8000 ODI runs (182 innings)
  • Second fastest to score 9000 ODI runs (205 innings)
  • Scored 9577 ODI runs at an average of 53.50, the highest average for a South African batsman during his career.

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