SYDNEY: South African captain AB de Villiers played an explosive and unbeaten 162-run knock off only 66 balls to help South Africa first posts mammoth 408-5 and later restrict West Indies to a paltry total 151 to record massive 257-run triumph in their Pool B World Cup match here at Sydney Cricket Ground.
The huge total posted by South Africa marked the highest total so far in the ongoing World Cup and the second highest in ODI history behind India’s 413-5.
South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first. South African wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock (12) was removed early when skipper Jason Holder removed him with team’s score of 18 in sixth over. Andre Russel took the catch.
Opener Hashim Amla (65) and Faf du Plessis (62) then added 127 runs to the score board before Du Plessis edged to Ramdin off Chris Gayle delivery. Gayle in the same over also removed Amla after an lbw with South Africa scorecard showing 146-3 in 29.4 overs.
Rilee Rossouw (61) and captain De Villiers established a 134-run partnership before the former lost his wicket when he was caught behind off Russell delivery.
David Miller (20) was the last batsman to return to pavilion after getting out off Russell delivery when Jerome Taylor caught him. After 328-5 in 46.4 overs, De Villiers knocked 80-run partnership with Farhaan Behardien (10 not out), which came off only 20 balls.
De Villiers smashed 17 boundaries and eight sixes on his way, scoring fifty off 30 and century off 52 balls. He took only 12 more balls to cross 150-mark.
Meanwhile, Captain Holder conceded 104 runs in his ten overs, paradoxically bowling two maiden overs as well and capturing a wicket. He has become fifth-ranked bowler to have conceded highest number of runs in an ODI. No West Indian bowler has conceded above hundred runs before.
Gayle was the most successful bowler with two wickets in four overs and conceding only 21 runs. Russell was another bowler to pick two wickets but he conceded 74 off nine overs.
Chasing a massive target of 409 runs – West Indies batsmen crumbled under pressure and scored only 151 runs before losing all of their wickets in 33.1 overs.
Only skipper Holder put some resistance in hopeless situation recording a fifty scoring 56 runs to dodge narrowly worst ever defeat by 33 runs. New Zealand recorded a 290-run victory against Ireland in 2008.
Chris Gayle, who scored a double century against Zimbabwe in the previous match, failed to emulate the same form and scored only 3 runs before he bowled by Kyle Abbot in the second over.
Marlon Samuels, who also scored an unbeaten century, failed to score a single runs after also becoming the victim of Abbot as Quinton de Kock took his catch behind the wicket.
Pakistan born South African spinner Imran Tahir took five wickets to become the most successful bowler for the side in the match. Abbot and Morne Morkel picked one each while Dale Steyn picked one.
After West Indies was reduced to 108-8 and a worst ever defeat on cards, skipper Holder registered a fifty in the end, not only to delay the defeat but also to save the team’s blushes from conceding the worst ever defeat in cricket history.