Cricket World Cup 2015

Hard work pays off - De Villiers

2015-02-27 14:04
AB de Villiers (Gallo)

Sydney - AB de Villiers smashed West Indies bowlers from pillar to post for the quickest 150 in one-day internationals on Friday but the South African skipper said only hard work earns a batsman the right to dominate in such a fashion.

The 31-year-old's innings of 162 not out from 66 balls climaxed with a stunning final passage where he blasted his final 50 runs off just 12 balls to bring the crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground to its feet.

"You get into that kind of mode, and it doesn't happen very often, it's quite a good feeling to feel one step ahead of the bowlers, that's the main thing," he told reporters.

"You get a really good gut feel for what they're trying to do. It's part of cricket, you work really hard trying to get in, you work really hard to get some momentum behind you, then you've earned the right to take control of the game.

"Sometimes it goes you way, sometimes it doesn't. I got dropped a couple of times which helped me really free up and dominate a bit at the end."

"A bit" is something off an understatement and the West Indies bowlers must be heartily sick of the sight of de Villiers after he hit the fastest one-day fifty (16 balls) and fastest century (31 balls) against them in Johannesburg last month.

The sheer range of shots he played on Friday was breathtaking but he admitted to feeling out of sorts when he came out to join Rilee Rossouw in the middle with his side becalmed at 146-3.

"Rilee played a big part in me getting off my feet today," he said.

"I didn't feel too well going out to the wicket, a bit flat. He had a lot energy about him, a lot of intensity, getting into a lot of good positions, making it look flat out there.

"We were getting a lot of momentum behind us at a really quick pace. We're both really aggressive players, we ran a lot of twos, and all of that together helped in me having a go."

The victory by a World Cup record-equalling 257 runs was the statement South Africa had been looking for after they fell to an embarrassing 130-run defeat to India in their last Pool B match in Melbourne.

"I really thought the guys were motivated today to play some good cricket," he said.

"It's great to see the team like that, hustling around. You could see their eyes were open, ready to fight. It's a great turnaround after loss at the MCG."

Read more on:    proteas  |  cwc 2015  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket

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