Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has heaped praise on AB de Villiers, describing the South African as the current best batsman after he singlehandedly steered his side into the Indian Premier League final last evening.
Chasing a target of 159, the Royal Challengers endured a horror start and were reduced to 68 for six in the 10th over before de Villiers lifted his side from the jaws of defeat with a stellar knock.
The swashbuckling South African batsman smashed 79 not out and in the process stitched an unbeaten 91-run partnership with Iqbal Abdullah (33) as the Royal Challengers defeated Gujarat Lions by four wickets in the first Qualifier at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
"Unbelievable, can't believe I'm the winning captain," Kohli said at the post-match presentation. "That should end a lot of debates as to who is the best going around. No question about it."
"Come the big game, the big man stands up. I just bow down to him, that was probably one of the best knocks under pressure I've seen. So composed, taking Iqbal Abdulla along. He was really motivated to do it for the team. I'm really happy for him, I'm really happy for the whole team. Special credit to Iqbal as well, the way he got stuck with AB, that crucial partnership. That was wonderful composure to see from a young guy," the Indian Test skipper added.
Earlier, batting first, Gujarat relied on West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Smith's 41-ball 73 to post a respectable 158 all out in their stipulated 20 overs.
The Suresh Raina-led Gujarat, however will have another chance of securing a final berth when they meet the winner of the Eliminator in the second Qualifier in New Delhi on Friday.