South African batsman dedicates double hundred to Smith

ABU DHABI — When not playing sport, AB de Villiers likes to make music. And the 26-year-old South African from Pretoria had Pakistan dancing to his record-breaking album on the second day of the second Test at the Shaikh Zayed International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

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Published: Mon 22 Nov 2010, 11:27 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:48 AM

De Villiers floored the Pakistan attack to score a double hundred, his second. De Villiers, overnight on 120, became South Africa’s highest individual scorer with an unbeaten 278. He moved past South African captain Graeme Smith, who had made 277 against England in Birmingham in 2003. De Villiers faced 418 balls and his innings was peppered with 23 boundaries and six sixes as South Africa tightened the screws on Pakistan. De Villiers’ previous Test best was an unbeaten 217 against India in Ahmedabad in 2008.

De Villiers spoke about his knock after the game.


Record-breaking knock…

It was very special. I would like to dedicate the knock to Graeme Smith. He showed a lot of class in his captaincy, allowing me to go through and get that record. I thought we could have declared a bit earlier before tea but he wanted me to push on and get that record. And that says a hell of a lot about him as captain. So, a lot of credit to him and all the tail-enders, who stuck it out with me. It was even more special to get my side out of trouble after we were three down early on.

Not an attacking innings…

Yesterday, when I got in with Jacques (Kallis), he was flowing. He played amazing cricket and I didn’t find it that easy out there. Obviously, I realized just then that my role at that moment was to stay around and make sure we don’t lose wickets, make sure we don’t go four or five down. It is important to keep us at three down. When Kallis is scoring all the runs, there is no need for me to play the same kind of game. And that’s what Test cricket is all about. It is about rhythm, momentum, up and down. When one player is scoring a lot of runs, the other is got to hang it out and then it turns around. And my chance came today to push it up, especially at the end. But right through the innings, my role was mainly to make sure that we don’t get bowled out. And I enjoy that kind of role.

Verbal duel with Umar Gul …

Unfortunately, I cannot say what was said. He came hard at me and I respect that. That’s how we play the game and it stays on the field.

There’s respect between the two of us. He came up to me and congratulated me after my knock and it stays out there. He did take me on in a few personal matters but, it is something that I wouldn’t like to discuss with everyone.

Support from the tail…

I wasn’t expecting that. I was hoping for a couple of 50 partnerships and the tail impressed me. They are all willing to come out there and put their bodies on the line and that’s exactly what they did because they faced a few short ones and all of them were willing to get into line and take the punch for the team. That was great to see and it even inspired me. My role was just to hang around there and I keep ticking the scoreboard over and then don’t get bowled out. And that’s exactly what happened. Pakistan had to work for every wicket that they got.


Three hundred was definitely not on my mind and even 200 was not on my mind. I knew when I reaching 200, we wouldn’t declare before that. The record was definitely not on my mind. I did start believing when I got my double hundred in India a couple of years ago. That’s when the belief started. Before that, there was no hope at all. I was just playing the game for the fun of it and hoping to get a hundred here or there. The mindset has changed quite a bit and I do know now that I’m capable of scoring big runs. And hopefully I will maintain that kind of form.

Pitch difficult to play…

It got a bit easier today. I was expecting it to get a bit easier once you got in. I had mentioned that the morning session was going to be tough and we handled that quite well. We only lost two wickets and there is definitely something in there in the mornings and that will be key for us tomorrow morning. Morning session is going to be important. We can pick up three or even four if we hit the straps and do the basics right. There was always something there while I was batting. I felt like I was not fully in control. And that is something which will interest Morne, Steyn and Kallis. Even our spinners will definitely come into play.

Pakistan bowler difficult to play…

I was wary of Gul. He challenged all of us, especially with the short ball and that is something important for a fast bowler to have. But credit has to go to Tanvir Ahmed. He picked up six wickets. That’s amazing especially on debut. He impressed all of us. He got it to swing a couple of times. So, a special effort from him, but Gul was the danger man most of the time, and we really had to work hard to see him off.

The 10th wicket partnership…

I wasn’t aware of that. It was quite special. That was the first time I heard of it. That definitely is a great record to have. Morne and me, we used to live together and that is definitely something we will chat about. I’m quite proud about that one.


When I got to 250, I looked to the change room and I thought they were waiting for me to get to 250. I was like trying to get Smith’s attention and I don’t what he was signaling. I thought he was signaling for me to get sixes or something. After that, I ask for the

drink to get the message properly and they came and said that the captain wants you to go for it and we are not going to declare before

you get the record. And I was trying to get his attention ‘Listen, we need to declare. If you have to declare for the team, let’s do it,’ But he ignored me.

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