South Africa smash their way to mammoth 438/4 against India
Mumbai: Riding on centuries from captain A B de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis, South Africa went for a batting rampage as they posted a record-high total of 438 for 4 in the fifth and final ODI against India here today.
Opener de Kock cracked 109 in 87 balls, du Plessis blasted 133 in 115 balls before retiring hurt while de Villiers smashed 11 sixes in his blistering knock of 119 from just 61 balls to completely destroy the home team bowling attack after South Africa opted to bat on a perfect batting track at Wankhede Stadium.
South Africa, who have never won a bilateral ODI series in India, finished with the mammoth total, the joint third highest ever and 17th 400-plus score in ODI history. It was also the highest ODI score in India, the second highest being the 418/5 India scored against West Indies in Indore in 2011.
This was only the second time that three batsmen scored a century each in an ODI match, the other instance also being by the South African team against the West Indies in Johannesburg early this year.
De Kock set the tone by striking 11 fours and a six, while du Plessis started slowly only to open up into a six-hitting spree before retiring to the pavilion due to leg cramps after hitting six sixes and nine fours.
And to complete the hosts' agony, de Villiers smashed an incredible 11 sixes and three fours in his brilliant knock to completely flatten the Indian bowling.
De Kock and du Plessis put on 154 runs in 137 balls for the second wicket to lay a strong foundation in their innings. Du Plessis then stitched 164 runs in 103 balls with de Villiers before he retired hurt when the score was 351 for 2.
All the five frontline Indian bowlers went for runs. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh bowled a tight spell of seven overs for 36 runs initially but finally finished with one for 70 in his 10 overs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1 for 106) and Mohit Sharma (1 for 84) were the most expensive while Axar Patel and Amit Mishra finished without a wicket after conceding 65 and 78 runs respectively.
The Indian fielding was also pathetic with quite a few catches grassed, two of those off du Plessis.