Aiden Markram smashed the fastest World Cup century off just 49 balls, while Quinton De Kock and Rassie van der Dussen also made punishing hundreds as South Africa sounded early warning with a mammoth 428/5 against Sri Lanka in their World Cup match on Saturday. This was the third 400-plus total by South Africa in Cricket World Cup history as they became the first team ever to achieve this feat. De Kock (100 off 84 balls), Dussen (108 off 110 balls) and Markram (106 off 54 balls) went on a rampage to power South Africa past the highest World Cup total ever — Australia’s 417/7 against Afghanistan in the 2015 edition.
Highest team totals in ODI Cricket World Cup
428/5 – SA vs SL, Delhi 2023*
417/6 – AUS vs AFG, Perth 2015
413/5 – IND vs BER, Port of Spain 2007
411/4 – SA vs IRE, Canberra 2015
408/5 – SA vs WI, Sydney, 2015
After De Kock and Van der Dussen set the platform for a massive score with their second-wicket stand with 204 runs, Markram applied a brutal coup de grace to pulverise Sri Lanka.
All three South African centurions — De Kock, Van der Dussen and Markram — also recorded their maiden World Cup hundreds.
A total of 39 fours and eight sixes came collectively from the Proteas trio.
Heinrich Klaasen hit another three fours and a six for his 20-ball 32 and David Miller clobbered three fours and two sixes for his unbeaten 21-ball 39.
Making the most of a favourable pitch against a depleted and erring Sri Lankan bowling line-up, South African batters motored on at a high scoring rate in the middle-overs to wrest control.
An early blow was dealt when Dilshan Madushanka pinned Temba Bavuma (8) in front of the wicket, but that was the only moment of joy for the Sri Lankans.
De Kock and Van der Dussen, came together a mere 10 balls into the contest, were separated only after putting their team in a commanding position with the fourth highest ever partnership for any wicket for South Africa in the World Cup.
De Kock, set to retire from ODIs after the tournament, was in his elements in getting a hundred.
On the other hand, Van der Dussen celebrated his 50th ODI with a fifth ton of the career, cracking 13 fours and two sixes in the process. Markram began with two cracking straight drives for four off Madushanka and brought out every conventional stroke in his book to break the record set by Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien (50 balls for 100) in 2011.
Van der Dussen survived a close chance on 65 when a mistimed hit fell very close to Sadeera Samarawickrama, who, placed at short midwicket, responded tad late and missed the catch.
With no turn or grip for SL spinners, the South African batters capitalised with the ball sliding on to the bat in the middle overs. In fact, 85 runs came in overs between 19 and 29 featuring 11 fours and two sixes.
Dunith Wellalage bowled five straight dots to the right-handed Van der Dussen in the 26th over which forced the batter to try breaking the trend.
An attempted reverse-sweep sent the ball flying close to Pathum Nissanka, who put in a dive to his right but his one-handed effort had the ball popping out of his hand.
In the 29th over, another chance to break the partnership went begging when a mix-up between De Kock and Van der Dussen left both batters vulnerable to a run-out. But a throw at the wrong end — which also missed the stumps — kept the pair intact.
However, De Kock fell right after completing the milestone, getting a top edge on a short ball off Pathirana in the 31st over and Van der Dussen also did not push on much after his century.
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