Ab de Villiers last played international cricket in 2018. However, he was a regular in the Indian Premier League (IPL), turning up every season from 2011 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Along with Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, it did not take long for Ab de Villiers to become the face of the franchise as well.
Ab de Villiers has single-handedly won RCB many games over the years. He has given the fans plenty to cherish. Many of his knocks are such that cannot be forgotten and can certainly stand the test of time. De Villiers is one such player who has never failed to entertain and lit up the IPL, doing it consistently year after year, season after season.
As he will no longer feature in the Indian Premier League going forward, let us look back at his top knocks in the toughest T20 league.
5 best IPL knocks by Ab de Villiers
#5 – 79* vs Gujarat Lions (IPL 2016)
An incredible run-chase! 🔥
A special innings by AB de Villiers. 🤩
Wild celebrations at the end! 🥳
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) April 29, 2020
RCB were down and out in the first qualifier of the 2016 IPL. Chasing a tricky target of 159 against Gujarat Lions for a spot in the finals, they were in big trouble at 29/5. Under tremendous pressure, Ab de Villiers kept his calm. Taking the responsibility on his shoulders, he ensured to keep one end held. All of RCB’s hopes were pinned on De Villiers and of course, he did not disappoint. He got himself in well and took control of proceedings. The right-hander ended on an unbeaten 79 as Bangalore got over the line with 1.4 overs to spare eventually.
#4 – 89* vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (IPL 2014)
It was an Ab de Villiers masterclass once again in a stiff run-chase for RCB. Yet again, RCB were in trouble, losing a couple of quick wickets. De Villiers walked in with Yuvraj Singh at the crease. He started off in brilliant fashion, scoring 33 off just 19 deliveries. With 61 still needed of 33 deliveries, Bangalore suffered another blow as Yuvraj was dismissed. Nonetheless, De Villiers steered the ship, keeping them in the hunt. As the game got close, RCB needed 28 runs off the final two overs. However, one over was all that he needed to put this game in Bangalore’s favour. He smashed Dale Steyn for 24 runs off the penultimate over, including three sixes and a boundary. De Villiers remained unbeaten on 89 as RCB went on to win a thriller.
#3 – 105* vs Chennai Super Kings (IPL 2009)
Surprisingly, Ab de Villiers scored his first IPL hundred representing Delhi Daredevils. Back in 2009, playing for DD, he showed first glimpses of his potential in the cash-rich league. Delhi had lost both their openers when De Villiers walked to the centre. Although he took time to set himself, he took matters into his own hands. In the final over of the Delhi innings bowled by Andrew Flintoff, De Villiers smashed 20 runs, which also took him to his hundred. He slammed 105 off just 54 deliveries that took Delhi to 189/5. They eventually won the game by nine runs as well.
— Asjad Nazir (@asjadnazir) May 10, 2015
#2 – 133* vs Mumbai Indians (IPL 2015)
The Wankhede witnessed a truly special show by the duo of Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers. They struck a record 215-run partnership that took RCB to 235/1. He belted the Mumbai bowlers, racing his way to an unbeaten 133 off just 59 deliveries. Striking at 225.42, he smashed 19 fours and four sixes. He spared none of the bowlers as he recorded his best score in the IPL, treating the fans to a terrific innings, which remains among the very best in the history of the league till date.
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) May 14, 2016
#1 – 129* vs Gujarat Lions (IPL 2016)
The Chinnaswamy was treated to an absolute run feast as RCB put on a mammoth 248-run total on the board batting first. It was once again the iconic duo of Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers, who broke their own record from 2015. It was the Gujarat Lions side that was on the receiving end of the carnage this time around. Ab de Villiers reached to his fifty off just 25 deliveries. His next fifty came off just 18 deliveries. He scored a blistering unbeaten 129 off just 52 deliveries. In the process, the duo also stitched a record 229-run stand, which is the highest in the history of the IPL.
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(Image Courtesy: IPL Twitter)