AB & Ampie’s Official CD Launch Details

Category : Music, News, Photo

AB de Villiers and Ampie du Preez will be launching their debut album, “Maak Jou Drome Waar” on Wednesday, December 1st 2010 in Pretoria.

The RSVP-only launch party will take place at the trendy Rhapsodys in Menlyn.

Event: AB de Villiers & Ampie du Preez CD Launch
When: 01 Dec ’10 18:00
Where: Rhapsodys Menlyn, Menlyn
Description: 18:00 for 19:00 R150pp (Includes Canapes, drinks and show)
Venue: Rhapsodys Menlyn – Cnr Lois & Glen Manor, Menlyn – www.rhapsodys.co.za

AB’s record puts him into world top 10

Category : Featured, News, Photo

AB de Villiers, the world’s leading batsman in one-day cricket, has now also moved into the top 10 of Test batsmen.

He is now in fifth place, behind No1 Kumar Sangakkara, who has replaced Sachin Tendulkar at the top. Tendulkar is at No2, followed by his Indian teammate Virender Sehwag, with South Africa’s Jacques Kallis at No4.

With Graeme Smith at ninth, South Africa have three men in the top 10, the same as Sri Lanka, who also have Mahela Jayawardene (No6) and Thilan Samaraweera (No10)

It’s the first time De Villiers has broken into Test cricket’s top 10 and it follows his record-breaking 278 against Pakistan in the recent second Test in Abu Dhabi.

De Villiers expressed his desire to be No1 recently when he reached the top in the ODI rankings.

Sri Lanka captain Sangakkara has regained the top spot after an impressive 150 against the West Indies in his side’s drawn match at Colombo over the weekend.

The 33-year-old’s 24th Test century came off 216 balls and included 12 fours and one six.

South African-born Jonathan Trott, who was one of three England players to score a century in the first Ashes Test, is also in the top 10 for the first time.

De Villiers had a strong first innings with the bat against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, scoring a record-breaking 278 not out to move up eight places to fifth, while Trott’s 29 and 135 not out against Australia in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane has seen the 29-year-old batsman rise to eighth position.

In ICC player rankings for Test bowlers, India’s Zaheer Khan has risen to No3 in the world, his highest ranking to date.

Australia’s hat-trick hero Peter Siddle and England’s Steven Finn both climbed the rankings at the conclusion of the first Ashes Test.

Siddle has risen to 14th after claiming 6/144 in the first Test at the Gabba while ICC young player of the year Finn has broken into the top 20 in 19th place after his first international six-wicket haul.

There is little change in the rankings for Test all-rounders with Kallis still leading the field.

However, Australia’s Shane Watson has displaced England’s Graeme Swann for fifth place in the allrounders rankings after the 29-year-old Queenslander scored 77 and claimed 1/96 during the first Ashes Test.

Source: TimesLive – November 30, 2010

AB de Villiers – ‘Always an artist’

Category : News

Abraham Benjamin de Villiers’ potential was recognised years before he made the leap to senior international level as an opening batsman against England at Port Elizabeth in 2004-05. He has batted everywhere from number one to number eight – with the important exception of number three – and has performed well in most of these positions.

He has recently moved up to No. 5 in the batting order, and hasn’t done badly at all in that position, averaging 84 in 16 Tests, and scoring five hundreds and five fifties in 22 innings. He’s not yet 27, which means his best years as a batsman should be ahead of him, as should the No. 4 spot when Jacques Kallis finally decides he has had enough of international cricket. Those will admittedly be huge boots to fill, but de Villiers is probably better equipped than most to fit into them.

Ever since AB de Villiers made his international debut, he was earmarked as a special talent. As often happens with the prodigiously talented, performance didn’t match expectations for a while, but over the last three years de Villiers has been proving that the hype was justified. Both in Tests and ODIs, de Villiers has been in tremendous form during this period, which was underlined most recently by his undefeated 278 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. De Villiers finished with a series average of 154, which is his second successive 100-plus average in a series, and the seventh time in his last 11 Test series that the average has topped 60.

These numbers have meant that de Villiers has firmly slotted among the top batsmen in the world today, but in his early years he struggled for consistency. In the first three years of his Test career he averaged a modest 36.36, and even those numbers were propped up by runs against relatively weaker attacks: he averaged less than 25 against Australia and Pakistan but more than 60 against West Indies and Zimbabwe. The other problem in the early days was his rate of converting half-centuries into hundreds: out of 16 scores of 50-plus he only had three centuries, and two of those weren’t big hundreds.

Much has changed since then. In the last three years de Villiers has gone about rectifying almost all those stats: his average during this period has shot up to nearly 65, against Australia he averages 75 from six Tests, and he has eight hundreds from 18 scores of 50-plus. The only opposition he has really struggled against during this period is, quite interestingly, Bangladesh – in four Tests against them he averages 17.25; against every other opponent it exceeds 50. The hundreds have become bigger too, with two doubles and two others in excess of 150.

All these runs put de Villiers among the top batsmen in the world over the last three years. In terms of averages only Sri Lanka’s Thilan Samaraweera has better numbers, but he has scored almost all his runs in the subcontinent, in conditions he is familiar with. De Villiers, on the other hand, has scored his runs all over the world, with hundreds in Australia, England, West Indies, India and, of course, South Africa.

Unlike almost all batsmen, de Villiers has much better numbers overseas than in South Africa. Overall, the difference is surprisingly large – he averages 36.09 at home and 61.93 overseas (including neutral venues). The home average has gone up recently – it’s 50.93 in 11 Tests in the last three years – but de Villiers remains a superior batsman away from home, where he has scored both his double-hundreds. In fact, the tendency to perform better away from home is a trait that’s common to him and Hashim Amla, the other South African batsman who has been in sublime form recently: Amla averages 41.74 at home, but his overall average is almost 47.

The first three and a half weeks in November haven’t been a good period for Test cricket: five dull draws have been played out during this time, with the only exception being New Zealand’s capitulation by an innings and 198 runs in Nagpur. The draw sequence started in India – where New Zealand forced two stalemates, and even had the chance to win one match – and then spread to Dubai, Galle and Abu Dhabi, as Pakistan held South Africa and West Indies surprised everyone against Sri Lanka. MS Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh hit out at the pitches in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad, and out in the UAE, Jacques Kallis had similar views about the tracks in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Source: The Daily Mail Pakistan – November 30, 2010 / AHMAD MEHMOODUZ ZAMAN

De Villiers enters Top 10 Test rankings at No.5

Category : News

SA’s AB de Villiers has climbed the world Test rankings and is now the fifth-best Test batsman in the world, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said yesterday.

His rise up the rankings comes after his record score against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, the ICC said.

It is the first time that De Villiers has been in the top 10 in this format of the game.

There is a healthy contingent of South Africans in the top echelons of Test cricket. Jacques Kallis is ranked fourth, Graeme Smith ninth and Hashim Amla 14th.

Dale Steyn is the highest ranked Test match bowler. Morné Morkel is sixth and Paul Harris is 15th.

Kallis remains the world’s highest ranked all-rounder, the ICC said.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has reclaimed the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen, ending Sachin Tendulkar’s short-lived stay there.

Sangakkara’s performance in the first two Tests of the continuing series against the West Indies coincided with Tendulkar’s modest returns against New Zealand, leading to a swap at the top. Sangakkara has so far scored 228 runs in the West Indies series, taking him to 882 rating points, 23 clear of Tendulkar. Virender Sehwag is in third place, nine points behind Tendulkar.

England’s Jonathan Trott joined De Villiers by breaking into the top 10 for the first time, following strong performances against Pakistan and Australia. Trott’s unbeaten 135 was a part of England’s strong secondinnings resistance in the Ashes- opener, helping his side earn a creditable draw, and lifting him to the eighth spot.

Source: Business Day – November 30, 2010

De Villiers’ record score a highlight

Category : News

I am really enjoying the feast of international cricket that has come our way in recent days.

From our Proteas in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to the West Indies in Sri Lanka, to New Zealand in India and the cherry on top, the eagerly awaited Ashes contest between England and Australia Down Under.

Add to that the domestic MTN40 series, which has also delivered some surprises, while the CSA Provincial Competition happily saw Border conquer Griquas twice last weekend and congratulations must go to the Border boys for their fine showing. Aya Gqamane’s 12 wickets in the match was a fine effort.

There were a number of outstanding feats that caught my eye. Top of the list must be AB De Villiers’ South African record-breaking individual score of 278 not out against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. It is always pleasing to score centuries but AB must be especially proud of his achievement seeing that the Proteas were 33 for three wickets upon his arrival at the crease. Broad bat Jacques Kallis was no doubt the ideal man to bat with at this precarious time.

Spare a thought though for Graeme Smith, who unselfishly allowed De Villiers to surpass his own milestone of 277 by delaying the Proteas’ declaration until AB had passed his score.

It is a terrible shame that this monumental innings was watched by so few at the Abu Dhabi Stadium and it’s a real concern for the ICC as they attempt to foster the game in the UAE and accommodate Test cricket for beleaguered Pakistan. A paltry crowd also watched the first Test at Dubai Stadium. Pakistan performed with renewed courage and batted with surprising fortitude when all assumed that the South African bowling attack would cripple them. However, it was not to be and this must surely be a worry for the South African selection panel with a strong Indian team arriving in the country within days.

De Villiers’ record innings should be seen in the context of the match and the illustrious batsmen he has surpassed. The legendary Graeme Pollock (274 against Australia, 1969-70), Gary Kirsten (275 v England 1999-00), Darryl Cullinan (275 not out v New Zealand 1998-99), and Smith (277 v England, 2003).

Expect more tussles in the near future between De Villiers, Hashim Amla, Smith and Kallis to go even further than 278.

Source: Dispatch Online – November 29, 2010 / PETER KIRSTEN