BANGALORE, India, May 18 – AB De Villiers can do things on the cricket field few others can, but apart from his batting skills, he did something very special in the field during an IPL match on Thursday.
The South African has pulled off many a screamer in his 14-year international career, but what he managed at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore was something special.
Chasing 219 for a win, Sunrisers Hyderabad were behind the asking rate having reached 60/1 in seven overs.
With Moeen Ali introduced into the attack, Alex Hales sensed the opportunity to up the scoring.
He stepped out of his crease in a bid to whack the off-spinner over deep mid-wicket and would have done so rather easily, if not for De Villiers’s gravity-defying act.
Stationed at cow corner, he ran to his right, leaped, got hold of the ball with his right hand and despite being off-balance somehow managed to keep his foot from touching the boundary cushions – all this in one motion.
The catch stunned everyone watching, none more so than Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers captain.
“That was Spiderman stuff,” Kohli said. “You don’t do that as normal human beings. I thought it was going for a six, but he pulls it out, then the jump and then the balance.
“I mean, he can do freakish things, but I am used to it now. His shots still leave me in awe but his fielding I am pretty used to and that was fun to watch.”
De Villiers, who was also named Player of the Match for his 39-ball 69 that helped Bangalore to a good total, was modest about his effort.
“I made it look better than it actually was,” he said. “I got into a bad position, the ball had a bit of a curve on it. The minute I took the jump, I realized a little bit of my body was outside. I just had to put that right arm out and luckily it stuck.”
Trent Boult had earlier in the season pulled off a one-handed stunner to dismiss Kohli in a game between Bangalore and Delhi. But, De Villiers’s effort might just pip Boult’s as the catch of the IPL so far.
“One of the best I have ever see,” said Ali. “When he hit I thought six, but with AB there is always a chance. What a grab! He is an amazing fielder, everyone knows that only he can do that.”
– African News Agency (ANA)