AB’s only getting better

Category : News

Excerpt from: Clutching at Straws:

AB’s only getting better: Did the run-out of the blonde run machine seal our fate? Quite possibly; when AB de Villiers is at the crease, South Africa look capable of anything. The talent’s always been there, but in the last couple of years the shot selection, the confidence, and the assuredness at the crease have taken his batting to a new level. A few years back he admitted he wanted to be the world’s finest batsman; aside from that Indian bloke with a few hundreds to his name, no one looks consistently better in world cricket right now than AB de Villiers.

Source: iAfrica.com – March 28, 2011 / DAN NICHOLL

AB back as keeper

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AB De Villiers is expected to replace Morne van Wyk as wicketkeeper in the Proteas team for Friday’s Cricket World Cup quarterfinal against New Zealand.

De Villiers and Dale Steyn sat out Saturday’s final group match against Bangladesh with minor injuries.

The pair, along with Jacques Kallis, who suffered a slight side strain at the weekend against Bangladesh, will all play, as will Morne Morkel, who was rested for the game.

Van Wyk, Wayne Parnell, and Lonwabo Tsotsobe will probably make way from the team that played on Saturday.

Van Wyk substituted for De Villiers, who suffered a back strain and could not keep wicket.

Source: Times Live – March 21, 2011 / LUKE ALFRED

From Lord Jeffrey Archer

Category : News

“Just a few days back I sent a hardcopy of my book to A.B. de Villiers. He had told me earlier just how much he enjoyed my books and I thought it would be a nice gesture.”

AB’s Twitter response: “Just received a gift from the one and only @jeffrey_archer. What a surprise! Thanks a lot!”

Source: The Hindu – March 20, 2011, and AB de Villiers’ Official Twitter

South Africa’s injured make recoveries

Category : News

South Africa expect to be back to full strength for their final group match against Bangladesh on Saturday. AB de Villiers, Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn have recovered from their respective injuries and will undergo fitness tests on Friday to confirm their availability.

“We will have a fully fit 15-man squad to choose from,” Mohammed Mossajee, the team manager, said in Dhaka. “It’s been a busy couple of days managing everyone but they’re all fine now.”

de Villiers strained a muscle in his left thigh during the match against India in Nagpur five days ago and was rested for the game against Ireland on Tuesday. Moosajee said his rehabilitation was “progressing well,” and he should be able to take to the field on Saturday. There is no update on his stiff back, which has prevented him from wicketkeeping in the last three matches he played. South Africa used Morne van Wyk behind the stumps and it’s likely that he will continue in that role with de Villiers returning as a specialist batsman.

Legspinner Tahir fractured his left thumb while taking a catch of his own bowling against England two weeks ago. Although the injury was not on his bowling hand, he was advised ten days rest and the selection committee decided to enforce the period immediately after the diagnosis was made. They could have risked playing Tahir against India and left him out of the matches against Ireland and Bangladesh.

“Strictly speaking, ten days would be tomorrow, so there is no reason why he shouldn’t be considered for the Bangladesh match,” Moosajee said. Tahir’s fitness test will also include fielding drills and batting in the nets to ensure that he is not in any danger of aggravating the injury.

Steyn sustained a small niggle on his side while bowling against Ireland. He completed four overs in his first spell, before he felt some discomfort and was taken off as a precaution after that. “It has turned out not to be as serious as we initially thought,” Moosajee said. “He has had some physiotherapy and should be fit.”

Injuries haven’t been the only concern in the South African camp, with illness also affecting some of their players. A few of them, like Colin Ingram who made his World Cup debut against Ireland, picked up stomach bugs over the past week. Moosajee said all of them had recovered.

Source: CricInfo – March 17, 2011 / FIRDOSE MOONDA

White an instant fan of de Villiers

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Andrew White will not forget his first sight of South African ace AB de Villiers.

The then 20-year-old AB was playing for Carrickfergus against Instonians. Six days earlier he had scored a stunning 233 not out against Cliftonville at Middle Road, the highest score in an NCU top division limited overs match.

The following Saturday the South African was showing his class again as he opened the batting at Shaw’s Bridge against Instonians, with White lining out for the opposition.

Fifty overs later, de Villiers had batted through another 50 overs without being dismissed and, for the first time anyone could remember, scored a second successive double century. This time he made 208 not out from 157 balls with 16 fours and seven sixes out of a total of 302 for six.

Today, a thigh injury permitting, he was due to face Ireland in their World Cup Group B clash in Kolkata.

“You could see from the start he was a class act,” recalls White — Ireland’s most capped player at the World Cup — of the game in July 2004.

“We knew about his junior performances as a South Africa international but he wasn’t being talked about as being a big star. It’s great to see what he has done.”

De Villiers is currently the second best one-day batsman in the world — behind team-mate Hashim Amla — but, seven years on, White still can remember incidents from that Section One game in Belfast.

“I remember he square cut the ‘world famous’ Billy Dale off the front foot for four. It was a wet sort of a day but I can still see it. It went like a tracer bullet. He had so much time,” said White.

“After his hundred he started peppering the trees along the banks of the Lagan. It was good to watch but his figures are just incredible.

“He farmed the strike at the end of the over, every ball was hit off the middle of the bat and everything seemed to go for four or six.

“I still remind John Stevenson that he dropped AB off my bowling when he was 60. But when he got his hundred he just went to town.”

That innings was de Villiers last game in the NCU. The following week he was called up by South Africa A and, as they say, the rest is history.

As for Carrickfergus, they won only one more game that season but de Villiers had made such an impact that the team finished eight points clear of Belfast Harlequins.

Carrick have been ever-present in the top flight ever since, usually with the help of a South African professional.

But no-one is likely to repeat the feat of the man from Pretoria.

Meanwhile, Ireland captain William Porterfield was yesterday given an official reprimand by the ICC for his public criticism of umpire Asoka de Silva after the West Indies match.

Porterfield told the after-match press conference that “in his opinion, the decision to give out Gary Wilson leg before wicket was wrong”.

Porterfield accepted the sanction without contest so there was no need for a hearing.

Source: Belfast Telegraph – March 15, 2011 / IAN CALLENDER