AB de Villiers always makes things look effortless on the cricket field. On Thursday (May 17), the Proteas batting maverick not only did his job with the willow but also astounded the cricketing fraternity with a blinder of a catch to dismiss Sunrisers Hyderabad opener Alex Hales.
Chasing the mammoth target of 219, Hales launched RCB spinner Moeen Ali into the night sky during the eighth over of SRH innings. Everyone in the stadium was pretty certain that the shot will fetch Hales his fourth six before De Villiers plucked the ball out of thin air and landed inside the boundary ropes to prove otherwise.
AB was patrolling the deep midwicket boundary where he leaped high and instinctively stretched out his right hand to grab the stunner. Hales (37 runs off 24 balls) was in utter disbelief to see the superhuman effort of De Villiers before he eventually made his way to the pavilion.
Until now, you must have heard and read a lot about De Villiers’ herculean grab. While RCB skipper Virat Kohli compared his legendary teammate to a Marvel superhero, others are running out of adjectives to describe it. But do you know how AB himself rates his extraordinary catch?
On Saturday (May 19), De Villiers, in his column for TOI, termed the catch as one of the most satisfying one of his illustrious career.
“When Alex Hales struck the ball high and hard over mid-wicket during our match against SRH in Bengaluru, my first thought was ‘try and create a chance’. I needed to run hard, to make metres just to get a hand on the ball, before I could even think of taking a catch. So I picked my line and ran as hard as possible, keeping my eyes fixed on the ball, but it was soaring high, up high into the night sky,” De Villiers wrote.
He further went on to explain the science behind his exceptional effort.
“Something else was needed. A jump was needed, so I slowed down a little, creating space to use my arms to propel myself as far into the air as possible… so I jumped, and reached up and backwards and, somehow, the ball stuck in my outstretched right hand. The job wasn’t half done. As I came down, the ball slipped from my fingers and I only just managed to push it towards my stomach… and then to hold what must rate as one of the most satisfying catches of my career,” AB added.
Earlier in the day, De Villiers has dazzled the capacity Chinnaswamy crowd with his stellar batting show. The Proteas batting maverick has scored 69 runs off 39 balls (12 fours and 1 six) to rescue RCB from 38/2. It was De Villiers’ 107-run stand for the third wicket with Moeen Ali (65 runs off 34 balls) that helped RCB to pile up a mammoth 218/6 in 20 overs.
Defending the total, RCB restricted SRH to 204/3 and kept their playoff hopes alive. It was RCB’s third win on the trot and they are now placed at the fifth spot on the points table. The Bangalore-based franchise will take on Rajasthan Royals in their remaining league match on Saturday (May 19).
“Hales was out and, even with Kane Williamson maintaining his dazzling form, SRH fell 14 runs short of the target; so we won again, so we stayed in the competition. It was a special night in front of our supporters at the M.Chinnaswamy stadium. We thought 170-180 would be decent, but Moeen Ali produced a great knock,” AB de Villiers concluded.