We had to win this one: de Villiers

RCB star talks about exciting last-ball victory against PWI

Bengaluru 18 April 2012
On April 12, the Royal Challengers Bangalore dugout was filled with glum and shell-shocked faces. Despite posting 205 runs on the board, they surrendered the match to the Chennai Super Kings in the final over. Five days later, after a similar last-over finish, the scenes had reversed completely. This time, it was RCB who had chased down a mammoth total and stunned the opposition – the Pune Warriors India.

While it was their trump card, Chris Gayle who once again shattered the morale of the opposition bowlers with yet another predatory knock, the vital finishing blows were struck by AB de Villiers. The South African batsman scooped and swept his way to an amazing 14-ball 33 runs and snatched the win from PWI’s grasp.

After winning the match for RCB, de Villiers told how proud he was of his team for bouncing back in this manner after three disheartening losses.

Not so long ago, you were on the receiving side of such a finish. How does it feel now?

I am amazingly proud of the way the boys played. I can’t put my finger on one, because it was a team effort. Each guy really came to the party tonight. We had the right attitude, and [I am] really proud of the way the boys pulled off [the win] tonight.

What about those shots you were playing tonight – the reverse sweeps?

That’s probably the best chance I had to clear the boundary. You got to use your best shot; on some days it’s going to be extra cover drive or slog sweeps. So the reverse shot was coming out pretty well tonight and I used it.

Have you been practicing those shots pretty frequently in the nets?

Not really. I use it quite a bit in the middle, and I think that’s enough practice.

Did Chris Gayle make it easy for you?

He played a great knock tonight. I thought we might have left it for a little bit late, but luckily we pushed it through. He set us a foundation and we pulled it through.

What did it take for the team to bounce back like this after losing the first few games?

We had a quite a few meetings. We had heart-to-heart discussions. And it’s all about respect and care in the team. We showed a lot of care tonight. We really had to win this, and you could see that on the field.

What was the reason behind playing an extra batsman when the team was struggling with the fifth bowler in the previous games?

I honestly don’t believe in something like a fifth bowler. Who ever goes for most of the runs seems to be the fifth bowler. In every team one such bowler is going to travel for runs, so there is nothing like first or the second bowler. Anyway, we just went through the players we have and felt like we should be able to chase down any target. So we went for an extra batter.

What was your strategy when you came out to bat?

I was hoping that we could just pull it through. I just wanted to contribute to the team, and not looking for the Orange Cap. I was not worried about personal rewards. I just wanted to contribute to the team; [Saurabh] Tiwari and I did exactly that.
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