Cape Town - Former Proteas captain AB de Villiers enhanced his reputation as one of the world's best T20 players with a stunning knock of 88* (43) for Middlesex in their Vitality Blast win over Essex at Lord's on Thursday night. 

In front of around 28 000 people and on the same wicket that was used for Sunday's World Cup final, De Villiers belted 5 fours and 6 sixes in a 50-minute stay at the crease as he helped his side to a comfortable seven-wicket win with three overs to spare. 

It served as a harsh reminder of what the Proteas missed out on during their failed 2019 World Cup campaign in England. 

De Villiers, who has been retired from international cricket since May last year, found himself at the centre of a media storm surrounding his reported availability for the Proteas on the eve of their 15-man squad announcement for the tournament back in April. 

Now 35, De Villiers has committed to playing on the world's T20 circuit. 

He is only available for the first seven matches of their Vitality Blast campaign, but he could appear later in the competition if Middlesex make the playoffs.