NEW DELHI: Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock smoked sensational centuries as South Africa rewrote record books on their way to a commanding 102-run victory over Sri Lanka in the national capital on Saturday.
Riding on the triple tons, the Proteas posted the highest-ever World Cup total of 428 for five — bettering the previous best of 417 made by Australia against Afghanistan at Perth in 2015.
Markram, who hit a 49-ball century, recorded the fastest-ever ton in an ODI World Cup as he pulverised the Lankan bowling attack after a record van der Dussen and de Kock 204-run stand.
Chasing an improbable total, the Lankans did give a brave fight, courtesy a fiery Kusal Mendis 42-ball 76 and Charith Asalanka and Dasun Shanaka fifties but the 1996 champions crumbled under the scoreboard pressure and folded for 326 in the 45th over.
Here’s a look at the key moments of the record-shattering South Africa-Sri Lanka epic contest at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
As It Happened
Early Bavuma blow and a phenomenal second-wicket partnership
As skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and opted to bowl, Dilshan Madushanka provided early success, removing Temba Bavuma for 8 in the second over. Rassie van der Dussen then joined hands with Quinton de Kock as the duo helped the Proteas recover after the early blow. As both steadied the ship, van der Dussen raised his fifty in the 18th over and the two brought up the 100-run partnership in the next as Proteas got to 118 in 20 overs. Then as soon as De Kock raised his fifty, both put pedal on the accelerator and started to go after the Lankan bowlers. Even before van der Dussen and De Kock went into all-attack mode, the run rate was hovering around 6 RPO for South Africa but the attack that followed, shook the Lankans completely. As both went berserk, it was a race of who was getting to his century first. De Kock eventually pipped his partner to the hundred, scoring it off just 83 balls in the 31st over as the 200-partnership came along — fourth highest ever partnership for any wicket for South Africa in the World Cup. Matheesha Pathirana finally put an end to De Kock’s onslaught, removing him the very next ball after his ton.
Markram’s record ton
Soon after De Kock’s dismissal, Aiden Markram marked his arrival with two cracking straight drives for four off Dilshan Madushanka. As van der Dussen got to his ton in the 35th over, by that time, Markram had got his eyes in and had started to hit the Lankan bowlers left, right and centre. In the following over South Africa raised their 250 and looked on course for a massive total. However, Dunith Wellalage got rid of van der Dussen for 108, providing some relief to the Lankans. But despite the fall of centurion van der Dussen, Markram continued with his assault alongside in-form Heinrich Klaasen as the Lankans were found wanting for answers. Smashing his ton off just 49 balls, Markram broke the record set by Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien (50 balls for 100) set in the 2011 edition. Markram gave the Lankans no respite as he and Heinrich Klaasen (32) took the Proteas past the 350 mark in the 44th over, adding another 78 runs for the fourth wicket. Markram’s century featured 14 fours and three sixes. Before eventually getting dismissed for 106 in the 48th over, Markram had made sure that his side were going past the 400-run mark with ease. David Miller then cracked 39 runs off 21 balls with two sixes in the final overs and added 45 off just 18 balls along with Marco Jansen powering Proteas to a record total.
Records made/broken/re-written during South Africa’s sensational display with the bat
- South Africa piled up highest total in ODI World Cup – 428
- Aiden Markram smashed the fastest World Cup century off just 49 balls
- All three South African centurions — De Kock, Van der Dussen and Markram — recorded their maiden World Cup hundreds
- Highest partnership for South Africa vs Sri Lanka (any wicket) – 204 (de Kock & van der Dussen)
- Fourth highest partnership for South Africa in ODI World Cup – 204 (de Kock & van der Dussen)
- Highest score of Quinton de Kock (100) in ICC events
- R van der Dussen (108) became the second oldest to score a hundred for South Africa (after Faf du Plessis) in World Cup
- Markram scored the third fastest ODI century for South Africa after Ab de Villiers (31 balls) and Mark Boucher (44 balls).
- South Africa registered their fourth highest team totals in ODIs – 439/2 vs West Indies 2015 | 438/9 vs Australia 2006 | 438/4 vs India 2015 | 428/5 vs Sri Lanka 2023*
- South Africa have most 400-plus team totals in ODIs – 8
Early blow in record chase and Mendis fireworks!
Sri Lanka needed to score at over 8.50 RPO from the word go but got off to a disastrous start, losing Pathum Nissanka for a 3-ball duck in the second over itself. As Marco Jansen knocked over Nissanka third-ball, the Lankans were pushed into the corner right at the start of the chase. However, Kusal Mendis played a sizzling counterattacking knock, delighting the fans inside the stadium. As Mendis fired a 25-ball fifty, the top-order batter declared that he was going all-in. While his partner Kusal Perera looked out of sorts, Mendis dealt in boundaries — slamming 4 fours and 8 sixes on his way to an attractive 42-ball 76. But at the other end, Sri Lanka were not able to get the runs as quickly as they needed as the scoreboard pressure kept building. As Mendis waged a lone battle, Perera departed for 7 (15) in the 8th over becoming Jansen’s second victim. The high-flying knock from Mendis was then ended by Kagiso Rabada in the 13th over after a brief recovery as the Lankans slipped in chase after crossing the 100-run mark.
Asalanka and Shanaka fights in vain
The Mendis blow was soon followed by Sadeera Samarawickrama’s dismissal as Sri Lanka slipped to 111 for 4 in the 14th over. With the Lankans tottering, it looked like South Africa would wrap up the game pretty quickly but then Dhananjaya de Silva and Charith Asalanka put up a brief recovery with a 39-run partnership. However in the 21st over, Keshav Maharaj got rid of Dhananjaya as the Lankans were 150 for five. With not much left to lose, Asalanka and Dasun Shanaka gave everything they had into the chase. Taking on the Proteas bowlers, both dealt in boundaries, adding a solid 82 runs for the sixth wicket. Although the target was still quite far but the Asalanka-Shanaka stand ensured that the defeat margin was not an embarrassing one for their side. After Asalanka fell for 79 in the 32nd over and Dunith Wellalage (0) and Dasun Shanaka (68) followed him soon as South Africa tightened their grip in the contest. Kasun Rajitha (33) too hit a few lusty blows towards the end but Gerald Coetzee and Rabada eventually wrapped up the game in the 45th over.