AB de Villiers has expressed surprise at his spellbinding innings that lifted Royal Challengers Bangalore to a match-winning total against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai on Monday.
RCB's innings seemed to be losing steam on the cusp of the death overs with skipper Virat Kohli departing for a struggling 13-ball 14.
De Villiers then unleashed a breathtaking charge, providing his team with the much-needed flourish as Bangalore posted 163-5 in their 20 overs.
The Proteas star smashed two sixes and four boundaries in his 30-ball 51 before being run out in the final over.
De Villiers, who is the third-leading run-scorer among overseas players in the IPL, had taken part in only one competitive game amidst the coronavirus shutdown. He starred in the innovative three-team format exhibition game in July with a stunning 24-ball 61.
However, de Villiers admitted he wasn't expecting to be so fluent during his first IPL outing this year.
"I surprised myself, to be honest. We had a competitive game in South Africa, which was great, gave me a little bit of confidence," he said after RCB beat Sunrisers by 10 runs.
"As a 36-year-old to come here, having not played a lot of cricket, in the middle of some talented youngsters - was a pleasing start. Very happy with the basics, seems to be in place," the 36-year-old added.
De Villiers retired from international cricket in 2018 citing issues of fatigue but there have been positive developments regarding a prospective comeback to the South African T20 side.
While de Villiers, dubbed as Mr 360 for his unorthodox strokeplay and swift adjustments in the crease, stole the show in RCB's victory, his stellar effort was preceded by IPL debutant Devdutt Padikkal's remarkable fifty.
The youngster got his team off to a rollicking start, allowing the latter batsmen to build upon the strong foundation.
"Padikkal is a shy and quiet guy but I don't have to say much really, he looks like a really good talent.
"It's a tough thing to arrive at the IPL, they don't come tougher than that. The talent is just incredible. Every year there are 19 and 20-year-olds coming through looking like they've played international cricket for a long time," he added.