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WatchingAB de Villiers bat and take a game away from the opposition can make different people think about different things. Some might enjoy it and wonder about the spectrum of shots that the South African puts on display while some might thank their stars that they don’t have to bowl at him and the spectators can just enjoy the unbridled entertainment.
Watching from the non-strikers end, Moises Henriques who had the best seat to watch the ‘de Villiers show’ sympathised with the opposition’s bowlers and wondered what he would do had he to bowl at the batter.
While speaking to iplt20.com after the match he said, “I was actually thinking, where the hell would you bowl to AB de Villiers” after the superb win. The all-rounder who contributed a 13-ball 27 in the unbroken 68 run partnership was happy about his team’s victory in the closely fought game but did not hold back praise while talking about PWI opener Robin Uthappa’s 45-ball 75 either.
Excerpts from the interview with Henriques:
On getting an away win under the belt after so much being talked about it
Oh have they? I haven’t noticed anything (laughs!). Yes well it is always good to get any win. I think was is our third straight game on the road now on this little trip so it was nice to get that win under the belt.
On AB de Villiers’ 50 off 23 balls with six boundaries and two sixes
It was pretty special. We have a bowlers meeting before the game where we talk about the opposition batsmen and where to bowl to them and I was actually thinking, ‘where the hell would you bowl to AB de Villiers’ because he hits the ball everywhere or anywhere, to all parts of the field so I was feeling for the bowler there because I wasn’t sure what I would do myself.
On contributing with the bat and working on his batting
I got a couple of lucky shots away early and then hit a couple of nice ones in the end. But yes it is good to come out to bat when you have someone as experienced as AB at the other end and we ran more between the wickets as well and the balls that we didn’t hit boundaries off, we were coming hard for ones or twos as well.
On the way Robin Uthappa batted and whether they thought that he could turn the tables on them
Well that is the key isn’t it? To have one of the guys from the top four going on to make a big score and Robin batted really well. To go out there and bat the way he did, he probably deserved a big scorer than he did because I thought he batted wonderfully. Luckily he got out there in the end and it was a good result for us.
On whether the wicket had changed as the game progressed or whether they had decided to settle down and then go for runs
Any team with Chris Gayle at the top, certainly would not plan to start slow. You obviously want to put bowlers under pressure right from the word go. I am not sure how the wicket played early but we got off to a slow start but we had wickets in hand and did not panic. And Saurabh (Tiwary) batted beautifully to the conditions at the top. That set a really good platform for us, down the order to come in and bat with freedom.
On his bowling
There wasn’t much pace in the wicket for the fast bowlers or any bounce so you had to be quite disciplined with your length. I missed my length a couple of times and I had to pay the price. I thought couple of the other bowlers bowled really well on Thursday and kept us in the game.
On whether he considers himself a bowling all-rounder or batting all-rounder
It depends on what I do better on the night, Thursday I might be the batting all-rounder but in the last game I probably was the bowling all-rounder. I just go with the flow and see how things progress. I make sure I am working on both during training, as hard as I possibly can.
Led by a determined Robin Uthappa, who bludgeoned the opposition attack, the Warriors put up a tough fight against Virat Kohli’s team after AB de Villiers had smashed the bowlers all over the park. The PWI opener held up one end even as he ran out of partners early on and found and able ally in Angelo Mathews.
The Sri Lankan, back in the side after missing four games and having stepped down from captaincy played a vital role in helping Uthappa take the attack to the opposition. During their 63-run partnership they threatened to take the game away from the visitors. On the way to his 19-ball 32, Mathews smashed three sixes to help keep his side in the game after Vinay Kumarhad dealt a double blow to knock the hosts back.
Speaking to iplt20.com after the clash, Mathews said that Uthappa’s 45-ball 75 was one of the best innings he had seen from his team-mate. The former skipper also mentioned that the fight that the batters put up was a positive that they will take with them as they look to win some games before the end of the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2013.
Excerpts from the interview:
Whether they fancied their chances after the 63-run partnership between him and Uthappa?
Definitely! If I and Robin were to have been there (till the end), I thought we would have finished off the game but unfortunately we just came so close and once again we ended up losing.
On Uthappa’s knock
It is one of the best knocks that I have ever seen from Robin. He was absolutely brilliant. He paced his innings really well and he took them to the cleaners in the middle overs. I thought he batted extremely well.
On where the match went away from them since they had things under control in the initial part of the RCB innings
AB de Villiers is one of the most dangerous batsmen to bowl at. When he gets going you really cannot think of a field and a ball to bowl. He is that kind of a character and it is always difficult when you are bowling at the death. And Dinda has been really doing the job for us in the past games. Unfortunately he couldn’t do that job. But no blame on him, he tried his extreme best and the batters also fought till the end. It was a pretty uplifting performance by the whole team.
On regrouping and going ahead
We have nothing to lose now and we just have to go there and play positive cricket as we did on Thursday and turn our trump cards and give it our best shot to try and win games.
On the tougher challenge of playing an away game next
It is always tough going away and playing in an opposition’s home. It is going to be tough and I think we have got nothing to lose and if we play cricket like the way we played we can win a few games.
On the positives from the match for PWI
Definitely the chase! It was absolutely brilliant and I thought through most of the overs we were in control but unfortunately in the latter part we could not hold on to the nerves. But while batting I feel the batsmen did a really good job by getting closer to that target because it looked a massive target to chase specially on this wicket.
On whether the wicket had changed as the game progressed
Yes. It is a slow and low wicket and it got slower and lower as the game went on and it wasn’t easy. I thought the batters stood up to the challenge and they were brilliant.