09 Oct PROTEAS OFF TO A RECORD-BREAKING WORLD CUP START
DELHI: Aiden Markram recorded the fastest century ever at an ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup to help the Proteas thump Sri Lanka by 102 runs in their tournament opener at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Saturday.
South Africa’s T20 International captain plundered 14 fours and three sixes in a world-wind 106 off 54 balls – reaching three figures in only 49 balls – and was one of three centurions along with Quinton de Kock (100 off 84 balls, 12 fours, 3 sixes) and Rassie van der Dussen (108 off 110 balls, 13 fours, 2 sixes).
The trio helped Rob Walter’s side amass the highest team total ever scored in the history of the global spectacle after they posted a formidable 428 for five.
In reply, the Asian side were bowled out for 326 with more than five overs to spare. Youngster Gerald Coetzee marked his tournament debut by being the pick of the bowlers with three for 68 on what was a forgettable day all-round for those with ball in hand.
Nonetheless the result ensured the Proteas made the perfect start in their World Cup quest as they climbed second on the table, behind New Zealand on net run-rate.
The South Africans broke a number of other records too as they punished the Sri Lankan bowlers after being asked to bat first at the start.
After losing captain Temba Bavuma (8) early, De Kock and Van der Dussen put together a partnership of 204 for the second wicket, the highest ever for all wickets against the island nation.
The pair took their side to 214 in the 31st over when the baton was handed over to Markram, who was in devastating touch.
He reached 50 in 34 balls, before needing just 15 more deliveries to reach his century, beating the previous 50-ball record of quickest century at a World Cup set by Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien against England in 2011.
Along the way, Markram shared quick-fire partnerships with Heinrich Klaasen (32) and David Miller, who ended the innings strongly for the Proteas with an unbeaten 39 off 21 balls.
It was only the third time in an ODI and first time at a World Cup that a single innings included three centurions.
With that backdrop, it was over to the South African bowlers and they landed an early blow through Marco Jansen (2/90) after he bowled Pathum Nissanka for a second over duck.
Kusal Mendis thrashed eight sixes and four fours in a dazzling 76 off 42 balls but he kept losing partners at the other end.
Kusal Perera (7) was also bowled by Jansen, while Kagiso Rabada (2/50) eventually accounted for Mendis leaving the total on 109 for three.
Sadeera Samarawickrama (23) followed two runs later to Coetzee, and when Dhananjaya de Silva (11) fell to Keshav Maharaj (2/62), Sri Lanka had slipped to 150 for five.
Charith Asalanka then top-scored with 79 (65 balls, 8 fours, 4 sixes), putting on 82 with Dasun Shanaka (68 off 62 balls, 6 fours, 3 sixes) as they breathed new life into the chase.
However, Lungi Ngidi (1/49) eventually broke the stand and from there the Sri Lankans plummeted, eventually falling all out in 44.5 overs.
South Africa’s next assignment is against Australia in Lucknow on 12 October.
Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications
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