AB Villiers turns 35 today 17 February. It’s very apt ,that his jersey number is 17. As the social media is abuzz with birthday wishes for him ,we reflect on his sensational world record of fastest ever ODI 100. ABD has been one of the most versatile batsman in the history of cricket. He could do anything– bat for 5 sessions to save a test, play the matchwinning 100 to chase down 400 plus in 4th innings of test, play the impact knocks which decides big test , ODI series, plays his typically brutal attacking innings in ODIs and T20s which destroys the figures and confidence of best of bowlers, was equal at ease against quality pace and spin, makes big fast bowlers look like spinners with his dazzling strokes, could keep and bowl also. — a most versatile batsman to have graced the game.
It was in the South Africa v West Indies ODI series of 2015 where he created the World record of fastest ever 100 in an ODI at Johannesburg. The Protea openers , Hashim Amla (153) and Rossow (129) had already created a launching pad for Devilliers to come at 3 and smash it around. The West Indies had a pretty good bowling attack in that game with Jerome Taylor, Jason Holder, Andre Russell ,all capable of pace well over 140 plus. Also they had Suleman Benn who was a capable spinner having done well for the West Indies in most formats. Devilliers came in an from the word go, absolutely smashed the hell out of the Windies bowlers with brutal strokes which included mixture of authentic and innovative strokeplay . He smote the fast bowlers for straight sixes over their head as they missed their yorkers, short balls were pulled and cut with disdain and even reverse swept audaciously The ramp shots , moving to offside and flicking over square and fine legs, it was a sheer exhibition . It was 360 degrees batting at it’s best. Only the most gifted players can bat like this as the West Indies bowlers looked stunned and bewildered. The 50 came in 16 balls, the 100 in 31 balls and both are world records. He broke Corey Anderson’s fastest ODI hundred (36 balls ) upto that point . Finally Devilliers was caught at point after his 149 of 44 balls with 9 fours and 16 sixes , a brilliant exhibition of attacking batting at it’s best. South Africa piled on 439 and from there it was a mere formality as West Indies could manage no further than 291 in their chase to lose by 148 runs – thus Devilliers score was the exact difference in that match.
As AB Devilliers reaches his 35th birthday ,here’s wishing one of the most popular cricketers on the planet many more years of great health and active cricket for his various franchisees and for South Africa as well as he is contemplating to come out of retirement and play T20 World cups.
ABD , pls continue to keep us entertained.