Charles’ ton in vain as Proteas seal record run chase
CENTURION, South Africa (CMC):
Johnson Charles slammed a remarkable second Twenty20 International (T20I) hundred to propel West Indies to their highest-ever T20I total, but South Africa made a mockery of the target by completing the highest-ever successful run chase to pull off an astonishing six-wicket win yesterday.
In a clash of heavyweight proportions at SuperSport Park, West Indies stormed to 258 for five from 20 overs, bettering their 245 against India in Fort Lauderdale seven years ago when the right-handed Charles struck 79.
This time around, the 34-year-old belted a career-best 118 from 46 deliveries - the joint second-fastest T20I century - in a 135-run, second-wicket stand with left-hander Kyle Mayers, who blasted 51 from 27 balls, as West Indies recovered from the loss of Brandon King for one in the first over to gather 62 runs from the first power-play.
However, opener Quinton de Kock counter-punched with a scintillating 100 from 44 deliveries - the joint sixth-fastest-ever century - inspiring an opening stand of 152 with Reeza Hendricks, who lashed 68 from 28 balls, South Africa overhauling their target with seven deliveries to spare.
"It was pretty, pretty crazy. When we'd come off we thought we had enough, but credit has to be given to Quinton de Kock and Reeza Henricks. They applied the pressure from ball one, and I think we didn't respond," said captain Rovman Powell.
The result saw South Africa level the three-match series 24 hours after they went down by three wickets in the opener, reduced to 11 overs per side due to rain.
In all, the 517 runs plundered was the most in a T20 game, while the 35 sixes struck also shattered the old record.
"That was a great game to be part of. All in all, I think both teams can appreciate it. We witnessed two really good knocks today, and I hope it's remembered for their sake," said Proteas captain Aiden Markram.
"Some of the guys said they were 15 short. The guys always believed that if a couple guys get in like Quinny and Reeza did, it was going to come down close to the end.
"So I think a lot of the credit has to go to the two of them getting us off to such a great start and pretty much making the rest of the chase a bit more comfortable."