Steyn acknowledges AB’s superior class after 23-run onslaught in IPL

2014-05-06 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — AB de Villiers has been described as a “freak” and the “best in the world” after he hit 23 runs off an over of Proteas team-mate Dale Steyn for the second time in his cricketing career.

It happened in Bangalore the day before yesterday in the Indian Premier League during the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s T20 win, with four wickets to spare, over the Hyderabad Sunrisers.

Bangalore needed 28 runs from the last two overs when De Villiers exploded (89*, 41b, 6x4, 8x6).

The 19th over (6,6, lr, 1, 4, 6) against Steyn totalled 24 which included a leg run.

Two years ago, De Villiers also hit 23 runs in one over against Steyn who was then playing for the Deccan Chargers.

Steyn again acknowledged his team-mate’s greatness on Sunday.

After the six De Villiers hit off his last delivery, Steyn applauded him.

That six has been described as being masterful as a Michelangelo.

Afterwards Steyn embraced De Villiers and congratulated him with a tap on his helmet.

In his first session of three overs Steyn (0/39) only gave away 16 runs.

In their quest to score 156 runs to win Bangalore ran into trouble early. De Villiers walked on to the pitch in the seventh over with his team on 38/3 and scored his half century off 23 balls.

His team were on 95/5 after 14.3 overs and still in trouble when De Villiers changed to a higher gear.

He afterwards said it had been one of those days when everything went right for him.

It followed after he scored only 45*, 11, 0 and 17 during his first four innings.

“I spoke to my parents on Skype prior to the game and my father said the other batsmen were just lucky. I assume today was my lucky day,” he said after he survived a chance to be out on 30.

One of the web comments afterwards said that Steyn is to De Villiers what Federer is to Nadal.

Steyn said De Villiers is in another class.

One of the best compliments to De Villiers however came from his captain, Virat Kohli, who described him as the best batsman in the world in all formats of the game.

“He is by far the best batsman in the world. He shows from time to time as he did today why he could be regarded as the best in all formats of the game. It was one of the best T20 batting displays I have ever seen. Especially in the way he hit the ball under immense pressure.”

(Additional reporting by,

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