‘Spiderman’ AB de Villiers defies gravity with stunning IPL catch for RCB | cricket | Hindustan Times
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‘Spiderman’ AB de Villiers defies gravity with stunning IPL catch for RCB

AB de Villiers pulled off a stunning aerial catch as Royal Challengers Bangalore needed a win against Sunrisers Hyderabad to keep their IPL 2018 hopes alive

cricket Updated: May 18, 2018 12:00 IST
Reuters, New Delhi
Royal Challengers Bangalore AB De Villiers takes the catch of Alex Hales of Sunrisers Hyderabad during their IPL 2018 match at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore AB De Villiers takes the catch of Alex Hales of Sunrisers Hyderabad during their IPL 2018 match at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. (PTI)

AB de Villiers seems to make it a habit of being spectacular in whatever he does on a cricket field and the talismanic South African’s gravity-defying catch in Thursday’s Indian Premier League (IPL) match only added to his legend.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad’s chase was into its eighth over when their English opener Alex Hales launched spinner Moeen Ali into the night sky at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium for what looked like his fourth six. (RCB vs SRH scorecard)

Patrolling the deep mid-wicket boundary, de Villiers, however, believed and proved otherwise.

Known for his superb athleticism, the South Africa leapt high and instinctively stretched out his right hand to pluck the ball swirling away from him. (HIGHLIGHTS)

And his job was not done yet.

When he landed, the Royal Challengers Bangalore fielder also had to ensure the momentum did not take him across the rope, which would have ruined a moment of breathtaking fielding brilliance.

“That was Spiderman stuff, you don’t do that as normal human beings,” Bangalore captain Virat Kohli gushed at the presentation ceremony.

“I thought it was going for a six and then he pulls it out... He can do freakish things. I’m used to it now.

“His shots still leave me in awe, I’m pretty used to his fielding. That was fun to watch,” the India captain added.

Royal Challengers Bangalore AB de Villiers celebrates his fifty runs with captain Virat Kohli during their IPL 2018 cricket match against Delhi Daredevils' at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on May 12, 2018. (PTI)

Famed for his 360-degree batting and an uncanny ability to conjure up shots that amuse the fans and bemuse the opposition, de Villiers made a breezy 69 in Bangalore’s 14-run win against the table-toppers to keep his team in the IPL playoff race.

INSANE

Compatriot and former South Africa batsman Jonty Rhodes called the catch “insane”, high praise coming from the fielding great, but AB de Villiers was his modest self when describing the moment.

“I made it look better than it was,” the 34-year-old said after being adjudged man-of-the-match.

“I got in a bad position. The ball had a little bit curve on it. The minute I took the jump, I realised it was a little bit outside of my body... Luckily it stuck.”

Former India Test bowler RP Singh tweeted a photograph of de Villiers, with a flowing red cape, taking the ‘superman’ catch.

Led by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, Hyderabad have already made the playoffs as have Chennai Super Kings. (SCENARIOS)

With only five group matches to go, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Bangalore are vying for the remaining two playoff slots in the eight-team league.