AB de Villiers C

8 February 2015 11:50

Star Player: AB de Villiers

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers is the second-ranked batsman on the ICC lists in both Tests and ODIs, and in Harare he proved why, taking Australia's bowlers to the cleaners to see his side to victory.

Full name: Abraham Benjamin de Villiers

Born: February 17, 1984, Pretoria

Current age: 30 years

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Delhi Daredevils, Northerns, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Titans

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers is the second-ranked batsman on the ICC lists in both Tests and ODIs, and in Harare he proved why, taking Australia's bowlers to the cleaners to see his side to victory.

South Africa batsman AB de Villiers is the second-ranked batsman on the ICC lists in both Tests and ODIs, and on Wednesday in Harare he proved why, taking Australia's bowlers to the cleaners to see his side to victory.

The Proteas needed a whopping 328 runs to win their opening tri-series match in Zimbabwe, and De Villiers joined forced with Faf du Plessis to put on a double ton stand, their 206 runs a new record for the third wicket for SA against the Aussies.

De Villiers was dropped in the 70s and the 80s, both sitters, showing that the cricketing gods really wanted him to get his century. He was scoring all these runs, ending on 136 not out, while cramping up and hardly able to walk.

His shot selection had the twittersphere in blissful shudders, with one swept six resulting in him doubled over in pain. Du Plessis, meanwhile was equally delightful, with a straight six or two off the pacemen, negating all notions of a pure Test blocker.

Du Plessis, for his part, brought up his century at better than a run per ball, and he was overjoyed. It was, after all, his first century in the format, in this his 51st ODI. De Villiers, in contrast, neared his 20th such score in the format (18). This was Faf's fourth 50-plus score since arriving in Zim though.

The stand was pleasing for anyone to watch, but more so for the fans in the north of South Africa, what with the pair having gone to high school together in Pretoria, rising through the ranks and on to the Titans. Their stand was only the seventh to pass 200 in ODIs for SA. Of those stands, four have involved De Villiers.

Honourable Mention goes to India's Suresh Raina, whose century against England on Wednesday, one of four worldwide on the day, saved his side from collapse. He scored it off 106 balls, hitting three sixes and 12 fours, and made England's bowlers rue their ill-discipline.

The only reason he's not getting the proper gong is because England made it so easy for him! Still, he, and the resulting win, was a welcome sight for India fans, after a long tour of nothing to cheer about.

Another Honourable Mention must go to Australia opener Aaron Finch. The big lad made two big scores this week, one half ton against Zimbabwe and the other a 102 against South Africa. Both were scored at the Harare Sports Club, a cracking batting deck, and his century against the Proteas on Wednesday was a delight to watch, taking the fight to the fast bowlers.

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