De Villiers' nabs IPL 'Spiderman' catch

Amlan Chakraborty
Indian captain Virat Kohli has called a catch by AB de Villiers (R) in the IPL as "Spiderman stuff"

AB de Villiers seems to make it a habit of being spectacular in whatever he does on a cricket field and the South African's gravity-defying catch in Thursday's Indian Premier League (IPL) match only adds to his legend.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad's chase was into the eighth over when English opener Alex Hales launched spinner Moeen Ali into the night sky at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium for what looked like his fourth six.

Patrolling the deep mid-wicket boundary, de Villiers thought and proved otherwise.

Known for his superb athleticism, the South African leapt high and instinctively stretched out his right hand to pluck the ball swirling away from him.

But the job was not done yet.

When he landed, the Royal Challengers Bangalore fielder also had to ensure momentum did not take him across the rope, which would have ruined a moment of breathtaking fielding brilliance.

"That was Spiderman stuff. You don't do that as normal human beings," Bangalore and Indian captain Virat Kohli gushed at the presentation ceremony.

"I thought it was going for a six and then he pulls it out ... He can do freakish things. I'm used to it now.

"His shots still leave me in awe, I'm pretty used to his fielding. That was fun to watch," he added.

Famed for his 360-degree batting and an uncanny ability to conjure up shots to amuse fans and bemuse the opposition, de Villiers made a breezy 69 in Bangalore's 14-run win against the table-toppers to keep his team in the IPL playoff race.

Compatriot and former South African batsman Jonty Rhodes called the catch "insane", high praise coming from the fielding great, but de Villiers was his modest self when describing the moment.

"I made it look better than it was," the 34-year-old said after being named man of the match.

"I got in a bad position. The ball had a little bit of curve on it. The minute I took the jump, I realised it was a little bit outside of my body ... Luckily it stuck."

Former Indian Test bowler RP Singh tweeted a photograph of de Villiers, with a flowing red cape, taking the 'superman' catch.

Led by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, Hyderabad have already made the playoffs along with the Chennai Super Kings.

With only five group matches to go, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Bangalore are vying for the remaining two playoff slots in the eight-team league.