Bangalore, May 5: It was a case of lightning striking twice at the same place!
It was deja vu for the world's premier fast bowler Steyn, who was smashed again by De Villiers in Royal Challengers Bangalore's thrilling four-wicket win in Match 24 of IPL 7.
In 2012, the same players came face to face at the same venue. Then, Steyn was with the now defunct Deccan Chargers and De Villiers was wielding the willow with the same team - RCB.
On May 6, 2012, De Villiers exhibited his wide range of strokes to demolish Steyn and give RCB victory. Nearly exactly two years on (May 4, 2014), De Villiers displayed same batting form to destroy Steyn again.
In 2012, De Villiers was the lone hope for the team as they needed 39 off 18. Steyn returned to the bowling crease. The right-handed South African blasted 23 (6, 2, 4, 6, 4, 1) off that Steyn over and RCB won the game in the final over chasing 182. De Villiers remained not out on 47 off 17 (5x4, 3x6).
It was a similar script that unfolded at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday night.
This time around, RCB needed 28 off 12. And Steyn arrived to bowl the 19th over. De Villiers blasted the first two balls for sixes and finished the over with a four and a six. Steyn was ransacked for 24 (22 from De Villiers, 1 legbye, 1 from Mitchell Starc).
De Villiers blitzed a 41-ball 89 not out with 6 fours and 8 sixes. RCB won by four wickets with a ball to spare.
On both occasions, De Villiers was the winner. After the game last night, De Villiers said: "He (Steyn) won the first set and I won the second. I would have loved to have a third set against him."
The two could face off again as the teams meet on May 20 in Hyderabad for the return leg game.
Despite all the hammering he received from De Villiers, Steyn, as a true sportsman, appreciated his friend's shots and at the end of the match hugged him. There were few words of appreciation from Steyn to De Villiers.
In 2012, Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) had tweeted: "Just wana congratulate @ABdeVilliers17 on that master battin display! I'd also like to say our friendship is nw hanging by a thread bud! Haha."
Last night, he just wrote: "Am I trending yet...? Haha."
Steyn showed us what a true champion he is. In the end, cricket was the winner.
Dale Steyn walking away clapping after the assault. Priceless. pic.twitter.com/8kXUrOnSiY— RCB (@CricketRCB) May 4, 2014
7TH_MAY_2012: Deccan_v_RCB De_Villiers HiTs 23 OF Dale_STeyn's OveR. & 4TH_MAY_2014 SRH_v_RCB AB HiTs 24 OF STeyn's OveR! S_khan— ♥♥UrduPoetry♥♥ (@NaSeeB_TaNha) May 5, 2014
Am I trending yet...? Haha— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) May 4, 2014