South Africa achieved a historic World Cup milestone, setting a new record total of 428 and securing a convincing 102-run victory against Sri Lanka. Aiden Markram starred in this remarkable match, achieving the fastest century in the tournament’s history with just 49 balls.
New World Cup Record and Ninth Highest ODI Total
In an electrifying display of batting prowess, South Africa surpassed the previous World Cup high of 417, set by Australia in 2015. Their final total of 428-5 not only set a new World Cup record but also ranked as the ninth highest total in all one-day internationals.
Aiden Markram’s Record-Breaking Century
Aiden Markram, the hero of the day, made cricket history by smashing the record for the fastest century in a World Cup. He reached his century in a mere 49 balls, breaking the previous record set by Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien in 2011 by a single delivery. Markram’s first 50 runs came in just 34 balls, and he needed only 15 more deliveries to reach his second half-century.
A Hat-Trick of Centuries
In this remarkable match, South Africa’s Rassie van der Dussen (108) and Quinton de Kock (100) also reached centuries. This marked the first World Cup match to feature three centuries in the same innings.
Sri Lanka’s Valiant Effort
While Sri Lanka mounted a valiant effort in response, it was clear that they were up against a formidable target. Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, and skipper Dasun Shanaka all scored half-centuries. However, Sri Lanka’s reply was always going to be a matter of damage limitation.
Bowling Struggles for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s bowlers faced a tough day at the office, with two of them, Matheesha Pathirana (1-95) and Kasun Rajitha (1-90), conceding more than 180 runs from their 20 overs.
South Africa’s Remarkable Turnaround
This incredible display of big hitting by South Africa was a stark contrast to their previous performance at New Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium in October 2022 when they were bowled out for just 99. Captain Temba Bavuma acknowledged the significance of the team’s achievement, stating, “From a team like South Africa, we expected 350 anyway in these conditions.”
De Kock’s Outstanding Performance
Quinton de Kock, who is playing in his final international tournament, stood out with his 18th ODI century, scoring 100 off 83 balls with 12 fours and three sixes. His partnership with van der Dussen, which added 204 runs for the second wicket, played a pivotal role in South Africa’s record-breaking innings.
A Historic Day for South African Cricket
In conclusion, South Africa’s victory over Sri Lanka will be remembered as a historic day for South African cricket. Aiden Markram’s record-breaking century, combined with remarkable performances from other players, propelled South Africa to rewrite the record books. This outstanding display of skill and power is a testament to the talent and determination of the Proteas, and it sets a high bar for the rest of the tournament.