South Africa chase down record T20 target to beat West Indies
27 March, 2023
CENTURION - South Africa pulled off the highest successful run chase in T20I cricket on Sunday to beat the West Indies by six wickets at Centurion on an afternoon of blistering assault on the ball as well as the record books. Opener Quinton de Kock hit a first T20I century as South Africa scored 259- 4 after being set an imposing target of 13 runs per over to win the match. Johnson Charles had led the West Indies to 258- 5, a new record T20 total at the Pretoria test venue, after they had been put into bat and amassed a formidable total.
The 34-year-old from St Lucia set a West Indies record for the quickest century, achieved off 39 balls, eight fewer than Chris Gayle’s previous best mark. Charles scored 118 off 46 balls before being bowled by Marco Jansen, South Africa’s best bowler with 3-52. He hit 11 sixes - half of the West Indies total for the innings - which equalled the record 22 in an innings set by Afghanistan’s against Ireland three years ago.
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Charles was ably supported by Kyle Mayers (51) in a 135-run secondwicket partnership followed by an unbeaten 41 from Romario Shepherd. South Africa began at blistering pace in reply and by scoring 150-0 off the first 10 overs set another T20 record. De Kock took 43 balls to reach his century but departed straight after to end a 152-run opening partnership with Reeza Hendricks, who made 68 off 28 balls. The pair succeeded in reducing the required run rate, allowing captain Aiden Markram (38*) to steer his side home to a remarkable win with 7 balls remaining. The batter-friendly pitch delivered a total of 35 sixes and 46 fours in a run feast for an enthusiastic crowd, producing 517 runs for the highest aggregate in a T20I. Player of the match Quinton De Kock said: “The partnership with Reeza Hendricks was quite special. He was the silent assassin. When I got out he said, ‘We just did something really special and we should be proud of what we’ve done.’ We just wanted to give our side a bit of hope and that’s what we did. Playing at Centurion, we know we can get a lot of runs here. The ball travels here quite a bit. We knew we could catch up here and especially with the nature of the wicket. It was quite a road out there. “My maiden T20I century was quite special. I’ve been searching for it for quite awhile.
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We haven’t played much T20Is here and when we do I seem to be given off so to be able to do it here was quite special,” he added. South Africa tied the three-match T20 series with the final game at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Tuesday. West Indies won the first match by three wickets on Saturday