AB de Villiers is a phenom. A work of art canvassed by the Lord in an attempt to appease and flabbergast the general masses of the world. This is a difficult world to live in. Wherever one looks, there is just gloom and atrocity.
In times like these, sports comes closest to bring some relief and sportspersons are the ones that become the architect of our hopes.
In the cricketing world, AB de Villiers is perhaps the primordial architect of our time. No other batsman bats the way he does and certainly no-one else can become one of the ultimate sources of panacea to the afflictions caused by the gruesomeness of this earth.
In the Indian Premier League, he has thrilled crowds on a consistent basis. But, there have been some innings which even the Gods sat up to take note. The memories of these 5 innings by ABD in the IPL don't fade away, quite like the Axe Signature range of body perfumes. Let's take a look:
#1 129* against Gujarat Lions in IPL 2016
If there was ever a perfect example of what a ‘tandava’ is, then this innings would be it. The Gujarat Lions had won the first battle by dismantling Chris Gayle for a paltry 6, forcing AB de Villiers to come to bat during the powerplay overs.
What we witnessed after that was only possible while playing cricket on a gaming console, but ABD made it happen in real life. In the 52 balls that he played, he steam-rolled his way on to 129 runs, hitting 12 sixes and 10 fours in the process.
His splendid batting rubbed off on his partner in crime, Virat Kohli. The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain also got into the act late on as, he too, completed his century. They also brought up the highest partnership ever in IPL history in the process.
#2 133* against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2015
This was one of the best innings of all time in the IPL. Once again as Chris Gayle failed to make an impact, he collaborated with Virat Kohli to fire his team to a mammoth score of 234 in 20 overs.
In 59 balls, he scored 133 runs and stayed unbeaten till the end. He hit only 4 sixes in the innings, but smashed a gargantuan 19 boundaries in his innings. The Mumbai Indians bowling attack was young and he exposed their inexperience with his impossible brutality.
The only bowler who was saved from his wrath was Lasith Malinga, who might look back at this innings and thank God that he didn’t end up with embarrassing figures.
#3 105* v Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2009
Things were a little different back then. AB de Villiers wasn’t donning the Royal Challengers Bangalore jersey and neither was the IPL played in India that year. Instead, South Africa became the host of the second ever edition of the tournament while the South African played at his home country representing Delhi Daredevils.
But class is class. Regardless of when and where he plays, he is still the same destructive player that could tear bowling attacks to shreds with his brilliance.
Playing against Chennai Super Kings, he scored a brilliant century as he ended up with a score of 105 in just 54 balls to take his team to a score of 189—which, on South African pitches, was a mighty score.
#4 89* against Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2014
So far, in the games that have been listed here, AB de Villiers batted first and scored those mesmerizing tons. However, in this case, he was chasing a score that turned out to be trickier than he imagined.
The total to chase was 156. Gayle had given the Challengers a quick start, but wickets kept tumbling. Enter AB de Villiers.
The South African beast played one of the best innings of his life as it was like a carefully crafted art that had the amalgamated qualities of patience, steadfastness and controlled aggression that was topped off by merciless brutality.
He just faced 41 balls, but smacked 89 runs with the help of 8 sixes and 6 fours, making sure that he got his team over the line with just 1 ball to spare.
#5 79* against Gujarat Lions in IPL 2016
This was perhaps his greatest moment in the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League. The memories of this match must be as fresh as a fish taken out of water. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And there couldn’t have been a better testament to that than this innings.
Royal Challengers were reeling at 29/5 while chasing a mediocre score of 159 in the playoffs stage with a spot in the final awaiting the winner of the match. It became 68/6 with a little over 10 overs to go and the crowd gathered at the Chinnaswamy Stadium had all but given hope. From there, the South African painted another canvas that enmeshed itself within the hearts of cricket lovers.
At a time of utmost adversity, he scored 79 off 47 balls to take his team over the fence even before the last over. He was assisted properly by Iqbal Abdullah, but the way he pioneered the innings was a true mark of his character.