Wellington: Controlled bowling by New Zealand took the gloss off a record-setting performance by AB de Villiers as South Africa were restricted to 271 in the third one-day international in Wellington on Saturday.
De Villiers won the toss and was keen to bat first on a hard track under clear skies at Westpac Stadium. He played his part with a rapid 85 off 80 balls in which he became the fastest batsman to amass 9,000 ODI runs.
He reached the milestone in his 205th innings, outperforming the previous record of 228 held by India's Sourav Ganguly.
Before de Villiers, the latest to the 9,000 ODI run mark was MS Dhoni, who also got to the milestone against New Zealand, during the ODI series in October 2016, but the wicketkeeper-batsman took 244 innings to get to the mark and doesn’t even feature in the top five fastest to the milestone.
While AB is the fastest to get to 9,000 runs, in terms of matches or innings taken, he isn’t the quickest to have got there in terms of time taken from ODI debut. That record still belongs to Rahul Dravid who got there 9 years and 322 days from his debut and still remains the only player to have to got to the mark inside a decade from their ODI debut.
Unsurprisingly, considering the number of Indian batsmen who have crossed the 9,000 run mark in ODIs, India dominate the top ten with four players on the list. Aside from Ganguly, who is now in second place, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Dravid all feature in the top ten.
De Villiers is only the second South African batsman to cross the 9,000 ODI run mark and as the world record holder, he got there a lot faster than Jacques Kallis, who previously held the national record, having taken 242 innings to get to the milestone.
Although AB is 33, he looks unlikely to retire anytime soon and with a career ODI average in excess of 50 and quite a few ODIs in the bank, including the Champions Trophy later this year, don’t be surprised if he becomes only the 12th batsman to score 10,000 ODI runs.