Cricket world in disbelief as South Africa make 'crazy' T20 history

The Proteas' historic feat has left the cricket world in a frenzy.

Seen here, South Africa's Quinton de Kock playing in a T20i cricket match against the West Indies.
Quinton de Kock smashed his maiden T20i cricket ton in a record-breaking display for the Proteas. Pic: Getty

South Africa's T20 cricket side has left the cricket world in a frenzy after an astonishing record-breaking victory over the West Indies at Centurion. Opener Quinton de Kock starred for the Proteas after hitting a first T20 century to help his side pull off the highest run-chase in the history of international T20 cricket.

De Kock took 43 balls to reach his century but departed straight after to end a staggering 152-run opening partnership with Reeza Hendricks, who made 68 off 28 balls. That incredible knock set the Proteas up for what turned out to be a relatively comfortable chase, in which they reeled in the West Indies' whopping 5-258 with seven balls to spare and six wickets in hand.

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Johnson Charles had led the West Indies to their new record T20 total at the Pretoria Test venue, after the visitors had been put in to bat. That looked to be the wrong call from the hosts as Charles smashed his century off just 39 balls - eight fewer than previous record holder Chris Gayle - to set the West Indies record for the quickest hundred.

Left to right, South Africa's Quinton de Kock is congratulated by South Africa's Reeza Hendricks.
South Africa's Quinton de Kock (L) is congratulated by South Africa's Reeza Hendricks (R) after scoring a century during the second T20 international cricket match against the West Indies. Pic: Getty

Charles scored 118 off 46 balls before being bowled by Marco Jansen, South Africa's best bowler with 3-52. Charles hit 11 sixes - which was half of the total for the Windies in their innings - which equalled the record 22 in an innings set by Afghanistan against Ireland three years ago.

The Windies slogger was ably supported by Kyle Mayers (51) in a 135-run second-wicket partnership, followed by an unbeaten 41 from Romario Shepherd. Despite the historic nature of the innings for the West Indies, however, it didn't prove to be enough as de Kock took it upon himself to re-write the record books.

South Africa began their chase at a blistering pace, belting 29 runs from the second over and reaching 100 in just the sixth over. By the end of the 10th over, the Proteas had reached 150 without loss, setting another record for a T20 match.

South Africa prevails in 'crazy' T20 international

"I said to Reeza afterwards we did something special out there. I've been looking for a T20 century for a while and to do it at my home ground was something special," de Kock said after the match. The pair succeeded in reducing the required run rate, allowing captain Aiden Markram (38 not out) to steer his side home to a remarkable win with seven balls remaining.

"It was a pretty crazy game. When we came out to bowl we thought we had done enough. They applied the pressure from ball one and we didn't respond," West Indies captain Rovman Powell said.

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 T20 international.

South Africa tied the three-match T20 series with the final game to be played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Tuesday. West Indies won the first match by three wickets at Centurion on Saturday.

with AAP

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