I surprised myself with 73-run knock, says RCB’s de Villiers

After scoring a scintillating 73 not out to steer Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to a big win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an IPL match here on Monday, AB de Villiers said he surprised himself with his 33-ball knock.

“[I am] very happy with the performance. Got a [two-ball] duck in the last game [against Chennai Super Kings]; a terrible feeling — very happy that I contributed. Surprised myself out there tonight. Knew the wicket was quite tough to bat on. But I thought 145-150 wasn’t enough. So I looked to go further, and was surprised to get 195,” said the South African after RCB’s 82-run win.

“They [KKR] have got a really good bowling attack. The margins are small and you have to use every bit of energy. As Virat [Kohli] said there was a light in my eye; felt it in the bus itself,” he disclosed.

On wicket-keeping, 36-year-old de Villiers said he enjoys the job as it gives him a good view.

“Always enjoyed taking the gloves. Very excited about it, I must say. I do bounce off ideas with Virat. As a ‘keeper you have a really good view of the pace of the game. Different skills completely. It depends. Have worked really hard with the gloves. Want to be the best I could, that’s always been my attitude,” he said.

On winning the toss, RCB first posted 194 for two wickets in 20 overs, thanks to Aaron Finch’s 47 off 37 balls and Kohli 33 not out off 28 balls, besides de Villiers’ knock. They then restricted KKR for 112 for nine wickets in 20 overs to complete a one-sided win at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The win took RCB to the joint top position and although they have 10 points, the same as Mumbai Indians (+1.327) and Delhi Capitals (+1.038), Kohli’s team is placed third on net run rate (-0.116).

Now, all eight teams have played seven matches each — the halfway stage of the league phase of the 13th edition of IPL.