Millennium Post

Sensational AB steals show

Sensational AB steals show
An unbelievable, unbeaten 162 from just 66 deliveries by captain AB de Villiers powered South Africa to a 257-run win, now the joint biggest victory in World Cups, against the West Indies in a Pool B contest at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday.

Inexplicable hitting by world no.1 batsman de Villiers, who smashed 17 boundaries and eight sixes at will, helped the Africans amass 150 runs in the last 10 overs to post 408/5 in their 50 overs, South Africa’s highest World Cup total which also happens to be the quadrennial event’s second highest total. In reply, the Windies were bowled out for 151 in 33.1 overs.

The other biggest victory in World Cup was when India scored 413/5 against Bermuda in 2007, the highest total of the showpiece event, to beat the minnows also by 257 runs. De Villiers might have scarred Windies captain and pacer Jason Holder’s confidence of bowling in international cricket permanently as he smashed 34 runs in the 48th over, second most in World Cups after compatriot Herschelle Gibbs hit 36 in an over against the Netherlands in 2007.

The 23-year-old Holder hoped to redeem himself by bowling the 50th over but de Villiers was merciless as he hammered 30 more runs off the last over to score 78 off the last three.

In the process, the South African scored the second fastest hundred in World Cup history, that too with a six, in 52 balls and the fastest 150, coming in 64 balls. The fastest World Cup century was scored by Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien against England off 50 balls in 2011. South Africa started very slowly after electing to bat but the story totally changed in the last 15 overs. The batting powerplay, from the 36th to the 40th over, yielded 72 runs without a wicket or dot ball.

Healthy contributions from opener Hashim Amla (65), Faf du Plessis (62) and Rilee Rossouw (61) held the innings together before de Villiers came in to bat at No.5. The 31-year-old scored his 20th ODI century at an incredible strike rate of 245.45.

The Windies bowlers did not have much to boast about as none of them, barring Chris Gayle, went below seven an over with poor Holder ending with despicable figures of 10-2-104-1. Andre Russell and Gayle picked up two wickets each.

In reply, southpaw Gayle (3), who scored a whirlwind 215 against Zimbabwe in his last match, failed to strike this time as he was bowled on the ninth ball of the Windies innings.

His wicket started a collapse that eventually led to the Caribbean side to totter at 63/7 in the 18th over. The pressure of the 409-run target proved too much for the inconsistent Windies batting line-up as only five batsmen reached double digits.

Holder (56) tried redeeming himself with the only half-century of the West Indies innings. His 48-ball knock was punctuated with three fours and four sixes. The only other recognisable contribution came from opener Dwayne Smith, who scored a 34-ball 31. The imposing target helped South Africa attack and their leg-spinner Imran Tahrir saw this as a brilliant opportunity to clinch his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs. The Lahore-born picked 5/45 from his 10 overs which included two maidens while pacers Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott clinched two wickets each.

Records Tumble

19 Number of balls by which AB de Villiers broke the record for the fastest 150 in ODI history. He got there in 64 deliveries. The previous record was 83 balls, by Shane Watson against Bangladesh in 2011

162 Runs scored by de Villiers, the second highest score by any South African batsman in World Cup history and the fourth-highest by a South African in an ODI. The highest by any South African batsman in a World Cup match is 188, by Gary Kirsten against UAE in 1996

52 Balls in which de Villiers got his century, the second-fastest in World Cup history. This is also the third fastest century by any SA batsman. De Villiers has scored three of the four fastest hundreds by a South African, including the fastest in ODI history, off 31 balls, also against West Indies earlier this year

9 Number of ODI hundreds for de Villiers as captain, the most for a South African captain. Graeme Smith has scored 8 as captain

6 Number of batsmen who have scored four or more World Cup hundreds; de Villiers is the sixth. The only batsmen with more World Cup hundreds than de Villiers are Sachin Tendulkar (6) and Ricky Ponting (5)

257 South Africa’s margin of victory, the biggest in World Cup history. India also beat Bermuda by exactly 257 runs in 2007 WC

408 South Africa’s score, their highest in a World Cup and fourth-highest in any ODI. It was also the second-highest score by any team in a WC, after India’s 413 against Bermuda in 2007

0 Dot balls during South Africa’s Batting Powerplay. They scored 72 runs in the Powerplay without losing a single wicket. SA batsmen hit

3 Number of times WI have conceded 400-plus runs in an ODI innings, the most for any team


South Africa innings
Q de Kock† c Russell b Holder 12, HM Amla lbw b Gayle 65, F du Plessis c †Ramdin b Gayle 62, RR Rossouw c †Ramdin b Russell 61, AB de Villiers not out 162, DA Miller c Taylor b Russell 20, F Behardien not out 10; Extras (lb 2, w 11, nb 3) 16; Total (5 wkts; 50 overs) 408; FoW 1-18, 2-145, 3-146, 4-280, 5-328; Bowling J Taylor 8-1-64-0, J Holder 10-2-104-1, A  Russell 9-0-74-2, MN Samuels 2-0-14-0, SJ Benn 10-0-79-0, DJG Sammy 7-0-50-0, CH Gayle 4-0-21-2

West Indies innings
DR Smith c Miller b Imran Tahir 31, CH Gayle b Abbott 3, MN Samuels c †de Kock b Abbott 0, JL Carter c de Villiers b Morkel 10, D Ramdin† b Imran Tahir 22, LMP Simmons lbw b Imran Tahir 0, DJG Sammy st †de Kock b Imran Tahir 5, AD Russell c Abbott b Imran Tahir 0, JO Holder c Amla b Steyn 56, JE Taylor not out 15, SJ Benn c Amla b Morkel 1; Extras (lb 5, w 3) 8; Total (all out; 33.1 overs; 141 mins) 151; FoW 1-12, 2-16, 3-52, 4-52, 5-53, 6-63, 7-63, 8-108, 9-150, 10-151; Bowling DW Steyn 7-0-24-1, KJ Abbott 8-0-37-2, M Morkel    5.1-0-23-2, Imran Tahir 10-2-45-5, F du Plessis 3-0-17-0
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