AB de Villiers announced a shock and immediate retirement from international cricket on May 23, 2018, in a video posted on his social media accounts.
With just one year to go for the 2019 ICC World Cup in England and Wales, De Villiers’ announcement to retire was surprising, as everyone was looking forward to seeing their favorite Proteas star lift the coveted trophy once.
AB de Villiers had made his ODI debut against England in 2005, scoring 20 runs and since then, he scored 9577 runs in 228 ODIs with an average of 53.50 and a strike rate of 101.09. He scored 25 centuries and 53 fifties with a best of 176 against Bangladesh.
AB de Villiers is the only batsman whose every ODI century came with a strike rate of more than 100. De Villiers’ last ODI came against India at Centurion, where he scored 30 runs.
In a tribute to one of the greatest batsman of his era, we look at five of the best ODI innings of AB de Villiers’ illustrious career.
Check out the 5 best AB de Villiers ODI innings here
(all stats updated till May 24, 2018)
112 vs. India, Chennai, 2014
India and South Africa met in the fourth match of the 5 match ODI series in 2014. The match was played at Chennai and South Africa went in with a lead of 2-1 in the series, looking to seal the series.
India won the toss and elected to bat first. They started with losing both their openers for 35 runs on the board. But Ajinkya Rahane (45) and Virat Kohli added 104 runs for the 3rd wicket. Kohli then added 127 runs for the 4th wicket with Suresh Raina (53). Kohli scored a brilliant 138 off 140 balls to take India to 299/8 in 50 overs.
South Africa too started badly, losing Amla and Du Plessis early. De Kock scored 43, but it was captain De Villiers, who scored a wonderful 112 off 107 balls with 10 fours and 2 sixes, who kept Proteas in the chase. But India bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/68) and Harbhajan Singh (2/50) took back the reins and when De Villiers fell to Bhuvneshwar, South African challenge ended on 264/9 in 50 overs.
India won the match by 35 runs and equaled the series 2-2 with one match to go.
162* vs. West Indies, SCG, World Cup 2015
South Africa met West Indies in the Pool B match of the 2015 World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground. South Africa with an eye on qualifications for the quarter-finals was looking for a big win, won the toss and chose to bat first.
Quinton de Kock fell early for 18. But Hashim Amla (65), Faf du Plessis (62) and Rilee Russouw (61) strengthened the Proteas innings and put them on the track for a big score. However, little did they know that their captain AB de Villiers will take the total to a new height.
AB de Villiers and Russouw added 134 runs in 12.3 overs. South Africa were 280 in the 43rd over and West Indies captain Jason Holder brought himself back on in the 47th over having given 40 runs in his eight overs with 2 maidens.
De Villiers got stuck into Holder as he plundered 34 runs in the 48th over and then in the 50th over, scored 30 runs more and scored his century off the 52nd ball, the second fastest in World Cup history. Holder, unfortunately, ended up with figures of 104 runs in his 10 overs and South Africa scored 408/5, with De Villiers unbeaten on 162* off 66 balls with 17 fours and 8 sixes to his name.
South Africa bundled West Indies out for 151 runs and won the game by 257 runs.
119 vs. India, Wankhede Stadium, 2015
India and South Africa came into the fifth and final match of the ODI series 2-2 and with everything to play at the Wankhede Stadium. In a must-win game, South Africa gained a massive advantage and won the toss, deciding to bat first.
Despite getting rid of the dangerous Hashim Amla for 23 runs, little did MS Dhoni knew that he would be out there chasing the leather for the whole Proteas innings. Quinton de Kock hit a sublime 109 off 87 balls with 17 fours and 1 six and he was ably aided by Faf du Plessis, who scored 133 off 11 balls with 9 fours and 6 sixes.
However, the final garnishing came from captain AB de Villiers himself, as he unleashed an array of strokes and brutal hits, scoring 119 off just 61 balls with 11 sixes and 3 fours. South Africa managed to score the highest score in ODIs in India and at the Wankhede, a mammoth 438/4 in 50 overs.
Such was the brutality of South African batting, especially De Villiers that Bhuvneshwar Kumar went for 106 runs in his 10 overs, finally taking his wicket. India could only score 224 runs in reply with Rahane making 87 off 58 balls and lost the match by 214 runs and series 2-3.
AB de Villiers was named the Player of the series for his three centuries and 358 runs at an average of 89.50 and strike rate of 134.58.
136* vs. Australia, Harare, 2014
In a rare triangular series in Zimbabwe, Australia and South Africa faced each other at the Harare Sports Club. Australia was put into bat by South Africa and scored 327/7 thanks to 102 from Aaron Finch and half centuries from Phil Hughes (51) and skipper George Bailey (66).
Chasing a decently big total of 328, Proteas lost De Kock and Amla for 51 runs on board in the 9th over. But then Faf du Plessis (106 in 98 balls; 11 fours, 2 sixes) came together with skipper De Villiers, who scored an unbeaten 136 off 106 balls with 11 fours and 2 sixes. He was helped by JP Duminy, who remained not out on 33.
This innings from AB de Villiers was a bit subdued one, as he knew that he couldn’t hit those big sixes, so he and Du Plessis ran hard and hit more boundaries than sixes. AB de Villiers controlled the chase very well, as they continued to make runs at close to 7 runs per over.
South Africa won the match by 7 wickets, having achieved the target in the 47th over.
149 vs. West Indies, Johannesburg, 2015
This match between South Africa and West Indies will remain etched in the memories of every ABD fan. West Indies had come into the match 1-0 down in the 5 match ODI series and were unaware of the assault they were going to go through at the hands of the Proteas, especially AB de Villiers.
On a typical flat Johannesburg pitch, West Indian captain Jason Holder won the toss and decided to field first. However, the decision to do so went horribly wrong for them as Hashim Amla scored a brilliant 153 off 142 balls with 14 fours. His opening partner Rilee Russouw smacked 128 in 115 balls with 11 fours and 2 sixes, adding 247 runs for the first wicket in 39 overs.
With 11 overs to go, AB de Villiers walked in and there was an amazing energy around him. He started off with a couple of boundaries, but quickly went on to break two big world records. AB de Villiers scored a scintillating 149 off just 44 balls with 9 fours and a world record equaling 16 sixes.
He reached his fifty in just 16 balls, breaking the record of Sanath Jayasuriya, who slammed a 17 ball fifty against Pakistan in 1996. De Villiers didn’t stop there and got to his hundred off just 31 balls beating the world record set by Corey Anderson, who got to his hundred in 36 balls. De Villiers also broke Shahid Afridi’s record of the 37 ball century in the process.
South Africa ended up making their highest ODI score of 439/2 in 50 overs. Two Windies bowlers, Jason Holder and Jerome Taylor went for over 90 runs in their 10 over spells. West Indies could only muster 291/7 and lost the match by 148 runs.
AB de Villiers became the first batsman to score an ODI century, coming after 35 overs of an innings.