• Humble AB smiles again

    Captain AB de Villiers emerged characteristically modest, after blazing through a magnificent century during South Africa’s key World Cup Pool B fixture against the West Indies at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

    De Villiers, who less than a month ago struck the fastest ton in the history of ODI cricket, against the same opposition, amassed a swashbuckling 162 off just 66 balls in a formidable final total of 408 for five.

    The in-form skipper reached three figures in a mere 52 deliveries. The entertaining innings featured all of 17 fours and eight sixes, spanned just 66 balls.

    While he did shave before the game, South African captain AB de Villiers wasn’t thinking about Martin Crowe’s open letter to him while facing the West Indies on Friday.

    Crowe, a former New Zealand captain, wrote to De Villiers last week, which the skipper admitted he read.

    ‘I wasn’t thinking about letter while we played today,’ De Villiers said. ‘I had a nice chat with the guys before the game, and I felt we were motivated to play some good cricket.

    ‘This victory was a great turnaround after the disappointment against India at the MCG. I’m surprised how well it went today. The foundation was laid up front – and that allowed me to free up a bit at the end. It was a very enjoyable knock. A bit of luck helped, the ball bounced my way,’ enthused De Villiers.

    ‘We had our plans in place, so a score of 300 to 320 was going to be achievable. In the end, we got more. Some days things just go your way, things click and it works out.

    Right-handers Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla and the left-handed Rilee Rossouw, meanwhile, weighed in with complementary half-centuries.

    De Villiers gave credit to Rossouw for helping him achieve his great innings.

    ‘Rilee inspired me today. He affected the way I played with his energy,’ explained the captain.

    ‘You have know your own game, know your weaknesses and strengths. ‘I don’t see the shots I play as risks. It’s all about getting momentum. I like reading the situation, but I didn’t know about the record.’