The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru was treated to an AB de Villiers masterclass yesterday, as the South African maestro followed up a scintillating knock of 69 from just 39 balls with a superlative catch that stunned the crowd and left his captain Virat Kohli scrambling for superlatives.
The sensational catch was instrumental in helping the Royal Challengers Bangalore overcome table toppers SunRisers Hyderabad and retain their hopes of making the IPL playoffs.
Although RCB had posted a healthy 219 in their innings, the SunRisers were looking full of runs in their reply.
England's Alex Hales had pummelled three sixes as he muscled his way to 37, until the incredible intervention of De Villiers.
Hales, well set and warming to the task, leaned back and viciously pulled a short ball from Moeen Ali to the deep midwicket boundary, where a lurking De Villiers leapt high in the air and miraculously plucked the ball out of the sky with his right hand.
His skipper Kohli was in awe at the athleticism of his teammate and after the game took to Twitter to liken him to a certain web slinging superhero, saying he saw "SpiderMan live today".
At the post-match presentation ceremony, Kohli was just as effusive as he lauded the astounding ability of the South African cricket icon.
"That was Spiderman stuff. You don't do that as normal human beings. I thought it was going for a six but he pulled it off, then the jump and then the balance.
"I mean he can do freakish things, but I am used to it now. His shots still leave me in awe, but his fielding I am pretty used to now."
The win was crucial to RCB's hopes of qualifying for the playoffs.
Victory in Bengaluru took Kohli's team to 12 points with one match remaining. RCB are fifth in the IPL points table, equal on points with fourth-placed Mumbai Indians, sixth-placed Rajasthan Royals, and seventh-placed Kings XI Punjab.
With a man who appears to have the powers of a Marvel superhero in their team, RCB will fancy their chances of making further progress in what has so far been an exhilarating IPL series.
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