Cricket World Cup 2015

De Villiers expected to score big

2015-03-02 11:27
AB de Villiers (Gallo)

Canberra - The South African cricket team is in awe of skipper AB de Villiers' current form in the Cricket World Cup, with high expectations of another record-breaking inning when he faces Ireland on Tuesday.

Proteas all-rounder Farhann Behardien said on Monday he had goose bumps when he batted with de Villiers' at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday in an emphatic 257-run win over the West Indies.

De Villiers scored the second-fastest century ever in a World Cup with a display of brutal batting.

He made an unbeaten 162 off 66 balls, with 17 boundaries and eight sixes as he dismantled the West Indies' attack and pushed South Africa to 408-5 - the second-highest total ever at the World Cup.

"In my opinion, he is a level above most batters," Behardien said at Canberra's Manuka Oval ahead of Tuesday's Group A game.

Behardien said his team-mates were lost for words in the dressing room when they saw de Villiers bat.

"It's overwhelming, it's bewilderment," Behardien said. "We're all in awe when we see him bat like that."

South Africa and Ireland play on the same pitch where West Indies opener Chris Gayle last week bludgeoned a World Cup-record 215 with 16 sixes, and shared a 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels in a stunning return to form to guide the team to a 73-run win over Zimbabwe.

Behardien said Manuka Oval had the potential to again become a nightmare for bowlers with de Villiers batting.

"It does potentially, but we've still got to stick to our processes. We don't underestimate Ireland at any cost," Behardien said.

"We have got processes in plan and if the game unfolds the way it should do, and we bat deep and we have wickets in hand toward the back end, I think that's the way we set it up," he added.

Behardien avoided placing too much expectation on de Villers' next performance.

"He would, and every player in our side would, take a duck as long as our team wins," he said. "Whatever happens tomorrow, I'm sure he'll just be happy with a team win and I'm sure we all."

Both South Africa and Ireland have emerged undefeated from their first two matches of the tournament.

Irish skipper William Porterfield said containing de Villiers would be challenging, but the Irish team would cope.

"It's no fluke, what he's done. He's done it a couple of times now over the last six to eight weeks," Porterfield said. "He's been in great nick, but I think you've just got to have your own simple plans and look after your own game.

"They're obviously playing great cricket, they're a great side, so we're going to have to be on the money again. We take each game as and when it comes," he added.

Porterfield said the Irish would not change their game just to counter de Villiers.

"You've got to be in control of what you are in control of and that is letting the ball go," Porterfield said. "If he plays the way he plays, then so be it. But we'll have our own individual plans for each of them and hopefully we'll see the back of him early," he said.

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

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