Durban: A brilliant maiden century in the Indian Premier League from AB De Villiers steered the Delhi Daredevils to 189-5 after an early collapse against the Chennai Super Kings on Thursday.
The 25-year-old South African faced 54 balls in a blistering innings in which he hit five fours and six sixes. He took the attack to the Chennai bowlers, who included Sri Lankan spin ace Muttiah Muralitharan and England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, easily finding runs through the covers and down field.
Delhi got off to a dismal start, losing their openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag in the first and second overs respectively.
AB de Villiers played the perfect Twenty20 innings to set up Delhi Daredevils. AFP
Gambhir was caught first ball by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after he got a faint edge to a delivery from Lakshmipathy Balaji. Delhi plummetted to 2-8 with the wicket of Sehwag, who was caught by Albie Morkel off Manpreet Gony for six.
But De Villiers’ entertaining innings soon put Delhi on track. He got support from Tillakaratne Dilshan, who struck 50 off 27 balls after at first assuming the attacking role while De Villiers held on at the other hand.
Dilshan targeted the seam bowlers Gony and Morkel, belting seven boundaries and two sixes before he was well caught by Suresh Reina off Morkel at mid off.
De Villiers reached his century by pushing to third man off Gony.
Balaji was the pick of bowlers for Chennai with 3-19, removing Gambhir (0), Dinesh Karthik (18) and Manoj Tiwary (9).
Delhi Daredevils 189-5 (AB. de Villiers 105 not out, T. Dilshan 50)
Chennai Super Kings 180-9 (M. Hayden 57)