“I tried to stop the ball from not hitting…”: AB de Villiers Recalls Hitting One-Handed Six In IPL

AB de Villiers, the former South African cricketer known for his incredible stroke play, has shared the story behind his remarkable one-handed six off Mohammed Shami during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 edition. De Villiers’ candid admission reveals the spontaneous nature of the stroke and the instinctive decision-making that played a role in his extraordinary shot.

During a match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings), De Villiers’ performance stood out as he hammered a superb unbeaten 82* off 44 balls, contributing significantly to RCB’s total of 202/4. In the 19th innings, De Villiers hit Shami for three consecutive sixes, with one being a particularly high full toss.

Recalling the moment during a Q&A session on his YouTube channel, De Villiers revealed his mindset behind the stroke. He candidly admitted that he had no intention of hitting such a massive six but was focused on ensuring the ball didn’t hit his body, which could have caused significant discomfort.

He explained, “I clearly remember clearing the stadium and going into Cubbon Park. It’s crazy because it was one of the biggest sixes I have hit. It was just a reaction. I tried to stop the ball from not hitting me. It was heading into a dangerous area around the throat. That could have been very painful if I had missed that. My mind just told me, whatever you do, make sure the ball hits the bat and not your body.”

De Villiers further elaborated on the peculiar delivery from Shami, indicating that he did not believe the Indian pacer had intentionally bowled it that way. His acknowledgment of Shami’s pace and the unexpected trajectory of the delivery showcases his sportsmanship and ability to appreciate the unpredictable nature of the game.

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“I can’t tell you why it went so far. Shami is quite fast and bowls around 140 kph. I don’t know if it was on purpose or not. I know Shami quite well. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I was really happy with that six. It was a very enjoyable knock,” he stated.

As De Villiers shared his recollections of that memorable innings, cricket enthusiasts were given an insight into the split-second decision-making and instincts that can lead to extraordinary moments on the field. His candid account adds another layer of appreciation to his remarkable cricketing career and his indelible impact on the game.

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