AB de Villiers admitted that beating defending champions Mumbai Indians in the first match of the IPL season was all about making a confident start to the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s campaign.
De Villiers starred with the bat, hitting 48 off 27 balls as Virat Kohli’s men narrowly got the better of the Mumbai outfit by two wickets on Friday in a match that went to the very last ball.
Chasing 160 for victory, The South African batsman got his team’s run chase back on track after the big wickets of Kohli and Glen Maxwell.
Unfortunately, De Villiers fell two runs short of a half-century when he was run out by Krunal Pandya in the final over.
‘Was an incredible game of cricket, always seems to be against Mumbai,’ De Villiers commented after the match.
‘We obviously came in knowing it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew halfway it was going to get tough, it’s one of those pitches that gets harder as the game goes on. They have a wonderful bowling line up that put us under pressure. [His wicket] There was an easy two in my opinion, but as I started it felt like I was running backwards. Krunal [Pandya} got it spot on with the throw.’
De Villiers was demoted to fifth in the batting order with Kohli opening the innings and Maxwell and Rajat Patidar batting ahead of him.
The Australian in particular looked promising with the bat before he fell for 39, playing a few cheeky shots to the boundary.
‘Absolute pleasure playing alongside Maxwell,’ De Villiers added.
‘I love playing with players like him, fantastic to have someone like that bat ahead of me and Christian behind me. We have a nice little set up. There’s a reason why Mumbai have won this trophy five times, there’s a lot of aura around them. But that was the challenge, to beat the champions and get a lot of confidence. We did well tonight.’