UPDATE: Markram stars as record-setting Proteas blitz Sri Lanka
Rassie van der Dussen (108) Quinton de Kock (100) and Aiden Markram (106) all hit centuries.
South Africa’s Aiden Markram celebrates after scoring a century (100 runs) during the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Picture: Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP
The Proteas rewrote the record books on Saturday as they posted the highest ever World Cup total of 428 while Aiden Markram clubbed the fastest tournament century in just 49 balls against a shell-shocked Sri Lanka.
The Proteas bettered the previous World Cup best of 417 made by Australia against Afghanistan at Perth in 2015.
Their 428-5 was also the ninth highest total in all one-day internationals.
Markram, Van der Dussen and De Kock shine
Markram, who went on to make 106, beat the previous record for fastest World Cup century which was claimed by Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien off 50 balls against England at Bengaluru in 2011.
Rassie van der Dussen (108) and Quinton de Kock (100) also hit centuries in the first World Cup match to feature three tons in the same innings.
“It was a perfect day for for us with the bat. We had to work hard up front up against the swinging ball and then well into the middle overs,” said Van der Dussen.
“We have a blueprint to set it up for the guys in the middle order. Aiden Markram when he plays like that is incredible to watch.”
Tough day at the office for Sri Lankan bowlers
For Sri Lanka, the figures made for grim reading with two of their bowlers — Matheesha Pathirana (1-95) and Kasun Rajitha (1-90) — conceding more than 180 runs from 20 overs.
It was a remarkable display of big-hitting by a South African side who were skittled out for just 99 the last time they played at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium in October 2022.
De Kock, who is playing in his final international tournament, hit his 18th ODI century off 83 balls with 12 fours and three sixes.
De Kock put on 204 runs for the second wicket with Van der Dussen before being dismissed off the next ball he faced after reaching 100, top edging a delivery from Pathirana to Dhananjaya de Silva at mid-on.
Van der Dussen soon reached his fifth century in the format off 103 balls with 12 fours and three sixes.
The 34-year-old, playing in his 50th ODI, was out in the 38th over when Sadeera Samarawickrama took a catch on the long-on boundary.
De Kock and Van der Dussen came together at the fall of the first wicket when skipper Temba Bavuma was trapped lbw by Dilshan Madushanka for just eight in the second over.
Van der Dussen was first to his half-century, the 13th of his ODI career, doing it in some style with a driven boundary off Pathirana.
De Kock followed, bringing up his 31st ODI fifty from 61 balls with four boundaries and a six with a reverse sweep off Dunith Wellalage.
Markram gave Sri Lanka no respite, racing to his half-century from 34 balls before he and Heinrich Klaasen (32) took the Proteas past the 350 mark in the 44th over.
Markram’s century featured 14 fours and three sixes.
He plundered 18 off one over from Pathirana, the young sling-action fast bowler hailed as the likely World Cup “X Factor” 24 hours earlier by Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood.
Markram was eventually dismissed when he skied another piledriver to Rajitha in the deep off Mandushanka.
David Miller cracked 39 runs off 21 balls with two sixes in the late overs to further deepen the misery for Sri Lanka.
Quinton de Kock is experiencing muscle cramps and Heinrich Klaasen will keep the wicket.