Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Steve Smith has heaped praise on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) batsman AB de Villiers following the latter’s match winning innings against the former’s side. RR faced RCB yesterday at Dubai. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, RR got off to a flyer thanks to Robin Uthappa’s clean striking. Following the dismissals of Uthappa and fellow opener Ben Stokes, RR skipper Steve Smith steadied the ship.
The Australian hit 57 off just 36 balls to take his side to a good total of 177. He was ably supported by Jos Buttler and then Rahul Tewatia. In the chase, RCB lost Aaron Finch early. Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli then stitched together a good partnership. However, the duo perished in quick succession leaving AB de Villiers with a mountain to climb.
But de Villiers put on a show smashing the RR bowlers all around the park. He took a particular liking for Jaydev Unadkat’s 19th over wherein he smashed three consecutive sixes. With good support from Gurkeerat Singh Mann, the South African took his side home with two balls to spare, finishing on 55 off 22 balls.
‘Incredible striking’ – Smith on de Villiers
Following the match in which RR came agonizingly close to winning, skipper Steve Smith took to Instagram to express his views on the match. He said he was happy to find rhythm and spend time in the middle. He then called AB de Villiers who was standing behind him in the picture a ‘freak’ and called his striking ‘incredible’.
He captioned his Instagram post, “Nice to spend a bit of time in the middle and find some rhythm. Unfortunately there is a freak standing behind me. Well played @abdevilliers17 incredible striking!”
RR face Chennai Super Kings next on Monday at Abu Dhabi while RCB face Kolkata Knight Riders at the same venue on Wednesday.