The way AB de Villiers played on his Middlesex debut, it would have definitely rubbed more salt on South Africa’s wounds. The recently-concluded World Cup campaign was marred for South Africa after it became public that AB de Villiers wanted to play for them in the tournament. AB de Villiers had later claimed that he never asked the team-management to include him in the team.
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But all those controversies took the back seat when he came out to bat against Essex at the iconic Lord’s. This was de Villiers’ first match since the Indian Premier League where he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in May.
As usual, the legendary batsman looked at ease, blasting 88 not out from just 43 on his first appearance in English domestic cricket. Batting first, Essex went on to post 164-6 in their 20 overs. Ryan ten Doeschate top-scored for them with 75 not out.
In reply, Middlesex were in all sorts of trouble after being reduced to 39 for 2. De Villiers and Dawid Malan then stopped the rot. The two started cautiously before picking up the pace and went on to share a 105-run third-wicket stand. Unsurprisingly, de Villiers stole the show with his batting. hitting five fours and six sixes. Malan, on the other hand, scored 43 from 34 balls with the help of five fours.
The English crowd will be desperate to see some more magic from de Villiers who will be available for Middlesex’s first seven group fixtures. AB de Villiers could also return for the knockout stage if his side qualifies.
Here is a clip of de Villiers’ breathtaking knock against Essex: