Bangalore, Apr 8: It was a winning start at home for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 5 on Saturday. The 20-run victory against Delhi Daredevils was achieved thanks to the efforts of AB de Villiers and Muttiah Muralitharan.
De Villiers, who made a 42-ball 64, won the Man-of-the-match award. Muralitharan took 3/25 in four overs. But the South African batsman felt the Sri Lankan offspinner deserved the award.
“It was a very achievable total. I thought it was just par. It was the bowling and the fielding that won us the game. The Man of the match (award) should probably have gone to Murali or one of the bowlers,” De Villiers said in his post-match comments at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium.
De Villiers, who keeps wickets for RCB, said it was dream come true for him to do duty behind the stumps to the bowling of spin legend Muralitharan.
“Murali's a legend of the game; he's a wicket-taker. His wickets shifted the momentum. This was the first time I kept to him. It's a dream come true. I was worried about not being able to read him but I managed it. It's easier than batting against him, though. When I used to play against him, I felt he could get me out anytime,” he said.
Talking about his reverse sweep to Irfan Pathan, which went for a six, he felt it was due to tennis influence. “It's almost like a tennis backhand. I used to play tennis; maybe that helped. It's just playing with the bowler's mind, just to keep him guessing. The wicket was two paced and just a little slow and so I was not able to clear the field in front of square. That's why I went behind the wicket; it was just natural,” he said.