De Villiers ‘knew record was close’

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Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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AB De Villiers was in the 90s before he realised a major cricketing achievement was within his grasp.

The South Africa batsman scored the fastest one-day international century at Johannesburg as he reached three figures from just 31 balls against West Indies.

That was five fewer than it took New Zealand’s Corey Anderson when he set the previous mark against the same opposition last year.

De Villiers had already broken Sanath Jayasuri ya’s 19-year record for the fastest ODI fifty, taking a mere 16 deliveries, before eventually falling for 149 off 44 balls.

Speaking on Sky Sports, De Villiers said: “I think I was on 92 when I realised it had to be close.

“I was never sure how many balls it was that Corey Anderson took to get to 100 but I knew I had to be close and I wasn’t going to take ones in the 90s.”

Openers Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw both scored centuries as well as South Africa amassed a mighty 439 for two that earned them a 148-run victory.

De Villiers said: ” I had a lot of time to warm up in the changing room and I really got myself going there. I did a lot of walks up and down thinking of how I should be playing.

“(Coach) Russell (Domingo) actually made a really good call towards the end of the innings asking me to go in. I wanted David (Miller) to go in to go and take the left-arm spinner on.

“I sort of played my knock even before I went out to bat and the word aggression was probably the thing for me today. I wanted to go from the word go.”

De Villiers hit scoring shots off 41 of the 44 balls he faced, including 16 sixes to equal Rohit Sharma’s record, but it was the three he could not get away that played on his mind afterwards.

“It actually irritated me facing those dots,” he said. “It’s a bonus breaking records but I hate facing dot balls. I did remember them walking off.”

Amla, who ended the innings unbeaten on 153, praised De Villiers, saying: “He’s an amazing player. I don’t think there’s anybody else who can do it as consistently as AB.”

Published: Sunday 18th January 2015 by The News Editor

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