The 31 Year Old Wicket-keeper batsman from Pretoria, South Africa proved to the world that he is undoubtedly the best batsman in world cricket at the moment. A master in adapting to what the situation requires, Abraham De Villiers scored a blistering 162* in just over 60 balls to bring up the quickest 150 ever in ODI Cricket. West Indies must be sick of this guy who’d just hammered them to all parts of the ground last month, when he’d brought up the quickest half century and the quickest century records in Johannesburg. He got to his century in 51 balls and got the next 61 runs of his innings in less than 11 deliveries. To be precise, that was at a strike rate of close to 500 runs for a 100 deliveries. West Indies thought they could restrict the South Africans to a modest total when Chris Gayle got Faf Du Plessis and Hashim Amla in the same over, but they did not know what was in store for them. Rille Rossouw and AB De Villers added 134 runs in 12 overs before Rossouw departed. At that stage, SA were 280/4 in 42.1. Nobody would have imagined what was to happen in the next 47 deliveries. They scored an unbelievable 128 runs in the last 47 balls, to reach a mammoth 408/5. Jason Holder was tight in his line and length in the first 8 overs where he got the wicket of Quinton De Kock and just conceded 40 runs. In his final two overs, he was ripped apart for 64 runs by the South African Captain. In an astonishing finish to the innings, ABD showed the world why he is the best in the world. His innings comprised of 17 fours and 8 sixes and an astonishing strike rate of 245.45. And it is not the first time he’s done something like this. In the IPL last year, Dale Steyn regarded the best bowler in the world was given the same treatment in Bangalore. He later said, “ The only games he dreads are when he’s up against De Villiers”. Jason Holder got the same treatment at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday, or perhaps worse than what his SunRisers buddy Steyn got.
West Indies in their reply to 63 for 7 as Chris Gayle could not repeat the same performance from the Zimbabwe game as the he was dismissed in the second over by Kyle Abbott. The crumbled under the huge asking rate of 8.10 as their top order and middle order were ripped open by leggie Imran Tahir, who continued to impress in this World Cup as he took four wickets in the first 8 overs of his. None of the West Indians tried to apply themselves at the crease as they lost by an huge margin to leave Pool B wide open.
Hosts face in Eden Park
New Zealand face Australia in the big game on Saturday in Auckland. This is going to be a cracker of a game in Auckland as the neighbours want to get the better of the one another. Nobody is willing to call themselves the favourites in the Super Saturday encounter as both the teams have mutual respect for one another and know that the other is strong enough to beat them. In a mouthwatering clash, there are going to be a lot of individual battles which could decide the outcome of the game. Warner and Finch v Southee and Boult, McCullum and Williamson v Johnson and Starc. Australia might find themselves out of match practice as they played their last match, two weeks ago when they comprehensively triumphed over the Englishmen before their match against the Bangladeshis was a washed out without a ball being bowled. Both teams have won their last five matches in International cricket and that should tell you something of how intense this battle of the hosts could be. Micheal Clarke is back to replace George Bailey in the middle order. In a captain for captain switch, Bailey just can’t find himself in the middle order.
This is going to be a good Saturday morning for all. Tune into watch this thrilling contest which is going to be a bigger spectacle than the India game in Perth against the UAE.
India face UAE
India go to Perth to meet their first associate opponent in the tournament, UAE. In a rather low key battle overshadowed by the big game at Auckland, Indians are huge favourites to keep their unbeaten record in the World Cup since their loss to South Africa in Nagpur, four years back. The defending champions are full of self belief as they would want to wrap up the minnows and register a third victory in this year’s championships to cement their place at the top of Pool B. They will be without Mohammed Shami who has a minor injury, who is most likely to be replaced by Bhuvaneshvar Kumar in Perth. They could also bring in a few changes to give the fringe players an opportunity against a rather low key encounter. UAE on the other hand, have an uphill task against the best one day side in the world, as they know they have to produce a remarkable performance to give India a run for their money. India stay in Perth to face West Indies after this and this would help them acclimatise to the bouncy WACA conditions.
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