De Villiers, Morkel in contention for South Africa’s ‘Cricketer of the Year’ award

Category : News

Newly appointed Proteas’ Twenty 20 and one-day international captain AB de Villiers and fast bowler Morne Morkel are leading the race to win South Africa’s prestigious Cricketer of the Year award.

Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Hashim Amla are the other nominees for the award, and the winners would be announced at the 2012 South African Cricket Awards ceremony on June 6.

Jacques Kallis won this award in 2011. Past winners include Hashim Amla, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini.

De Villiers earned nominations in three categories, including the One-Day International Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year and for the SA Cricketer of the Year, which he has never won.

De Villiers currently averages close to 50 in both ODI’s and Tests.

Morkel was the Proteas’ leading wicket-taker in T20 and ODI cricket, and has earned recognition by being nominated for the T20 Cricketer of the Year, ODI Cricketer of the Year and for the SA Cricketer of the Year.

His ODI career-best of 5/38 against New Zealand in Napier capped off a superb season for him.

“Being nominated for the SA Cricket Awards is a proud moment in any cricketer’s career. It is the recognition for all of your hard and diligent performances throughout the season, congratulations to all of the nominees,” Sports4 quoted CSA’s Acting chief executive, Jacques Faul, as saying.

“CSA Day is a special day on the cricketing calendar, a day where we get to celebrate the achievement of leading players and administrators for their excellence in amateur cricket, domestic professional cricket and operations, as well as the ultimate level of the SA team awards,” he added.

Source: Zee News – May 25, 2012

AB ‘ruins’ Steyn friendship

Category : News

Dale Steyn has taken to Twitter to sportingly acknowledge compatriot AB de Villiers’s blistering late assault on his bowling in an Indian Premier League thriller in Bangalore on Sunday.

De Villiers, combining crisp, orthodox stroke-play with some outrageous improvisation even against Steyn’s express pace for the Deccan Chargers, played a huge role in powering Royal Challengers Bangalore over the line at Chinnaswamy Stadium.

He took 23 runs off what turned out to be Proteas and former Titans team-mate Steyn’s third and last over, wrecking the latter’s hitherto commendable figures of 2-1-7-0 (including a maiden to Chris Gayle, of all people).

And as De Villiers finished on a whirlwind 47 not out off 17 balls in the five-wicket win, Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) tweeted: “Just wana congratulate @ABdeVilliers17 on that master battin display! I’d also like to say our friendship is nw hanging by a thread bud! Haha.”

Others in the Twitter world, who watched the amazing onslaught, joined in the praise.

“That has got to be some of the best I have seen from De Villiers – absolutely outstanding clean hitting, all around the park!” enthused former SA fast-medium bowler Steve Elworthy (@SteveElworthy).

Another Titans and Proteas stalwart active in the IPL, Albie Morkel (@AlbieMorkel), said simply: “Give that man a Bell’s! Take a bow @ABdeVilliers17.”

Former Proteas bowling coach Vincent Barnes (@VincentBarnes50) added: “@ABdeVilliers17 is the best batsman in the world at the moment.”

In a post-match press conference, De Villiers was quoted as saying: “Dale could have knocked me over with any of those balls, unfortunately for him I read it well, it was just my night.”

Source: Sport24 – May 7, 2012 / ROB HOUWING

When hot, AB de Villiers is very hot

Category : News

Some may say he has been hot and cold this IPL season. Some might call him a touch inconsistent. Some will stop just short of saying he is the best finishers in the limited-overs game. But the truth of the matter is that on his day, Abraham Benjamin de Villiers can set a cricket field on fire like no one else. And those who need to record testimonies can ring up Dale Steyn.

On Sunday, Deccan Chargers’ skipper Kumar Sangakkara handed the ball to Steyn for the 18th over of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s chase with a smile. RCB needed 39 off 18, and with the kind of form Steyn had run in this season, his six balls could have sealed the third win for DC.

Steyn had fellow South African de Villiers on strike. But it wasn’t one of those challenge games they are used to in the nets. This was serious business. RCB wanted to resurrect their floundering campaign while Deccan had pride at stake.

Steyn’s attempt to surprise AB with a bouncer first ball ended in a six over deep mid-wicket and a cheeky try at a slower one met its fate past the ropes on the wide long-on boundary. “Enough’s enough,” Steyn must have said and steamed in with a yorker on mind. Instead, a full-length ball was served and de Villiers helped himself to a flat six over extra cover. And when all brains in the stands were firm that now Steyn will give it back to AB, the South African batsman took a leaf out of Tillakaratne Dilshan’s book and scooped it over short fine-leg. A couple in between and a single off the last ball made it 23 runs in the over. No prizes for guessing who had won that battle.

It was a big error to think that RCB will now take it easy. When AB is hot, he is very hot. Anand Rajan was the next in line to be punished. And it took de Villiers just three balls of the 19th over – 4, 4, 6 – to give partner Syed Mohammad the chance to finish it off with seven balls to spare.

While the entire Deccan squad – on ground and in the dug-out – stood stunned, de Villiers stood tall – with 47 not out off 17 balls, including five fours and three sixes – having helped RCB score 72 runs in 3.5 overs to win the game.

For those still in doubt, the stand-in RCB skipper Virat Kohli’s words after the match summed it up. “When you have AB, anything is possible.”

AB de Villiers in IPL 5 so far: 11 matches, 292 runs, 64 not out highest, Strike Rate 171.76, three 50s, 25 fours, 14 sixes

Source: CricketNext – May 7, 2012 / JASPREET SAHNI