34 years ago South Africa saw the birth of a boy where no one knew at that moment that the boy would fit in everyone’s heart all over the World, many experts term that player as a man from another planet.
Whichever country that player would go to play he could hear the shouts of his name being cheered in the Crowd. The man who played with honour for his nation was an extremely different level athlete, and he is none another than everyone’s beloved Abraham Benjamin De Villiers also known by his nickname Mr 360° turns 35 years old today.
AB De Villiers dishearted many of his fans last year by declaring his International retirement with immediate effect. He had a tremendous International career for 14 years, in that period he scored 20014 International runs, picked 9 International wickets and caught 248 International catches.
When a team is under pressure of getting more runs, and they have De Villiers with them,
then the burden is not on the opposition team, not the team that has De Villiers in their side.
The superman has played some match-winning knocks and mind-blowing innings throughout his career and still is playing under different T20 leagues across the World.
Happy Birthday to Mr 360 °.
Let us give a flashback to some of the best AB De Villiers classic Innings Internationally as well as IPL.
Best 3 Test Knocks
I) 33 vs Australia (Adelaide,2012)
If you think just 33 what is the big deal than it was not a situation to win the match, but the intention of De Villiers was to secure that test match by trying not to give away his wicket and stay on the crease supporting his childhood friend Faf Du Plessis who was attacking from the other end.
De Villiers stood as a wall for his team and played 220 balls just not to let his team fall; South Africa successfully had drawn that match as they remained 248/8 on the end of Day 5 making Australians fail to get them all out.
II) 278* vs Pakistan (Abu Dhabi,2010)
The South African star came to bat in the 1st innings of the 2nd test match where his side was
33/3 down and he slowly and steadily built his innings where he ended up making his career’s
highest test score of 278 * from 418 deliveries.
He put up some significant partnerships with Jaques Kallis of 179 runs and later a 107 run stand with Morne Morkel recording the highest 10th wicket partnership for South Africa. De Villiers could be the first South African at that time to score a triple-ton in test cricket, but Graeme Smith declared the innings before it could happen.
III) 126* vs Australia (Port Elizabeth,2018)
The 2nd test match between South Africa and Australia where Proteas were 0-1 down in
the 4 match test series.
De Villiers who was looking in a perfect touch in the series came in to
bat at No.5 and remained unbeaten on 126 till the last African batsman was out, he
stood against the dangerous trio of Starc, Cummins, and Hazlewood.
It was his last International century in all forms of cricket. South Africa went on to win that match by 6 Wickets. The ones who have watched that knock would have known the value of de Villiers in the test team.
Best 3 ODI Knocks
I) 149 vs WI (Johannesburg, 2015)
He became the fastest player to score 50 and 100 in one innings only. Even Universe boss Chris Gayle bowed down to the Protean after he was Dismissed.
South Africa was in an excellent position of 247/1 in 39 overs when De Villiers came to
Bat, he just took 16 balls to reach his half-century following 31-ball century breaking Corey
Anderson’s previous record of 36-balls hundred and he ended being caught by Jonathan
Carter at sweep cover for 149 runs missing his 150 from just one run and was awarded as the Man of the match for his historic knocks.
II) 176 vs Bangladesh (Paarl,2017)
Protea batting prowess De Villiers in his comeback ODI plundered a century against Bangladesh. The right-handed genius smashed his career-best 176 in just 104 balls and led the hosts to 353 for 6 in Paarl. Looking strong and two overs remaining, he eventually holed out to deep midwicket off Rubel Hossain in the 48th over, this was his highest ODI individual score and also his last One-Day International century.
III) 136 vs Australia (Harare,2014)
It was a tri-series match between Australia and South Africa where the Australians had posted a total of 327/7 with the help of Aaron Finch’s century.
South Africa lost Amla and De Cock at the score of 51/2, from there on De Villiers who was team’s captain took the responsibility on his shoulders, and with his partner Faf Du Plessis smashed the Australians with a 206 run-stand for the 4th wicket.
AB remained not out on 136 making Australian bowlers stand on their knees and just making watch them their lost. The bowling attack comprised of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner and Kane Richardson. It was a marvellous victory for the Proteas.
Best 3 T20 Knocks
I) 71 vs England (Johannesburg, 2016)
It was the final match of England’s tour of South Africa and the 2-match T20 series.
South Africa was already leading the series with 1-0, and another win would have declared them as the series winner.
England set the target of 172 with amazing knocks from Root, Morgan, and Buttler. South Africa came to chase the target as Mr 360° opened along with Hashim Amla.
The genius was firing right from the start as he scored 71 from 29 balls in just 8.2 overs, smashing six fours and six sixes each targeting the legside majorly. However he was dismissed at 71 and could not make his maiden T20 century, but South Africa sealed the victory in just 14.4 overs winning the game by nine wickets.
II) 64 vs Afghanistan ( Mumbai, 2016)
It was a World Cup fic=xture between South Africa and Afghanistan where De Villiers came to bat in the 10th over and started going after the Afghan bowlers hammering them with fours and sixes, also smashed their iconic bowler Rashid Khan for 29 runs in a single over with four sixes and a boundary. In the end, South Africa won the match by 37 runs.
III) 51 vs India (Himachal,2015)
It was the first T20 match of the 3-match series where India with the help of Rohit Sharma’s maiden T20 International century posted a target of 200 runs for the Proteas to chase them.
De Villiers along with Amla opened the innings and smashed the bowlers from the start of the innings without thinking anything and made quick-fire 51 runs setting a base for the rest of his team to chase, he was dismissed by Ashwin, but South Africa won the match because of JP Duminy’s magnificent 66*.
Best 3 IPL Knocks.
I) 79 vs Gujarat Lions (Bangalore, 2016)
The Qualifier 1 round of IPL 2016 between GL vs RCB, where Gujarat only managed to post 158 runs and when RCB came to chase that target, they were dismantled by Dhawal Kulkarni’s spell as they were struggling with the position of 29/5 in 5.3 overs losing half of their team in the dugout.
However, the Superman of cricket was still stuck at the crease and turned the situation of the match by his calm and bold innings, he played a sensible knock of 79 from 47 balls without taking many risks and also supported by Iqbal Abdulla, but the leading player for that win was Ab De Villiers.
II) 133* vs Mumbai Indians (Mumbai,2015)
It was a must win for RCB to enter the qualifier stage as at that time many teams were contending to reach the top 4 places.
RCB had won the toss and decided to bat first, they lost Chris Gayle very early to Malinga, and then AB De Villiers walked in to bat and showed no mercy on MI bowlers as he was unstoppable with his crazy shots all over the Wankhede Stadium surrounded by blue flags.
De Villiers scored his 2nd IPL century with the help of 19 fours and four sixers, remaining unbeaten on 133, and also RCB posted 235/1 beating Mumbai Indians by 39 runs. An innings which MI bowlers may still remember.
III) 89* vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
The match 24th of IPL 7 between RCB and SRH, where SRH posted 155/6 from 20 overs in the first innings. RCB had lost early wickets of Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli.
In the last overs, RCB were 95/5 with still 61 runs required in 33 balls; the only hope RCB had left was AB de Villiers standing at the crease with 33*.
He just went against the Orange Army bowlers where at the moment he had to face a battle with his countrymen Dale Steyn one of the speedest bowlers of that time, which any batsmen would crumble against him.
28 off 12 balls needed and Steyn to De Villiers where he smashed him with 3 sixes and a four in that over which opened the doors for Rcb to win that game easily.
These were the heroic knocks from ABD, and many more are there which have not being featured. Which one is your favourite one comment them below?