South Africa have not won a single match of their One Day International series against India so far, trailing 3-0. South Africa have never lost an ODI while playing in pink at the Wanderers.
On Saturday, they could not have asked for a better occasion to keep that record going as they look to avoid losing a series to India at home for the first time.
The Pink ODI at Wanderers has become an annual affair in South Africa, started in 2013 to raise awareness about breast cancer. The Proteas have an incredible record in these matches and it’s mostly thanks to one man: AB de Villiers. And with the series on the line, the man known as Mr. 360 has been drafted back into the South Africa squad. How about that for timing?
De Villiers’ boasts a stunning record in the Pink ODIs with two centuries and two half centuries in five matches. And his return to the squad would be a boost to Aiden Markram and Co, who have been brushed aside in the first three ODIs by a combination of Virat Kohli’s batting and the two wrist spinners’ rich haul of wickets.
Here’s a look at some ABD magic from the past Pink ODIs.
The Amla-ABD show
From 26/2 at 10 overs while batting first, if you tell a team that they will go past 300, they will happily take it. But de Villiers and Hashim Amla took the Proteas to a mammoth 343 in 50 overs, with a partnership for the ages. Joining hands in the 14th over with the score at 42, the duo added 238 runs, with ABD smashing a 108-ball 128. That was then the record partnership for the third wicket in ODIs. The first Pink ODI (March 2013) turned out to be a thriller in the end, thanks to a blistering half century by Shahid Afridi, but in the end South Africa won by 34 runs and Amla and de Villiers ended up sharing the man of the match award.
Cameo against India
India’s first tryst with the Pink ODI was a thrashing at the hands of South Africa in December 2013, as Quinton de Kock (remember how he used to score for fun against India? Feels a long time ago!) hammered a 121-ball 135 to set up a 141-run win for the hosts. De Villiers’ role in that match was to provide the fireworks at the end, batting at No 4 with a 47-ball 77 studded with six 4s and four 6s. A fired up de Villiers, the captain of the side, made the most of the platform set by de Kock and Amla, on a track that offered plenty of pace and bounce - the effects of which were felt more on the Indian batting lineup, which folded for 217 in 41 overs. De Villiers and JP Duminy plundered 135 runs from the final 10 overs that night, on their way to posting 358 - one short of the score Ricky Ponting and Co had posted at the same venue in the World Cup final in 2003. Fair to say, India have a few scars left to avenge for when they take the field on Saturday.
The fastest ODI hundred of all time
No cricket fan can forget this - pardon the hyperbole - murderous assault by ABD on West Indies. It still boggles the mind that de Villiers came in to bat in the 39th over. THIRTY NINTH! In the 11 overs and three balls that were left, this man faced 44 balls and scored 149 runs.
Forget the pitch. Forget the bowling attack. Forget the size of the boundaries in Jo’burg. This was an innings from a man who made everyone question if he is indeed an alien from outer space that night.
We could go on and on about that innings, but why do that when you can rewatch it. Go ahead, let those jaws drop once again.
Domination against Sri Lanka
Captain ABD did not need to do anything extravagant against a Sri Lankan side that was tormented on their tour in 2017, barely winning anything. This match was no different. You can watch the highlights of ABD’s winnings here, but the real highlight of the day was....
Bonus viewing - BEES!
Well, this was scary. And new. And plain bizarre. Let’s hope any potential buzzing on offer come Saturday, is generated by the cricket and not a swarm of bees like it happened in the match against Sri Lanka last year.
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