Skipper A B de Villiers hammered the fastest 150 in ODI history as he led South Africa to a record-equalling 257-run win over the West Indies in a Pool B cricket World Cup match, on Friday.
Thanks to a sensational 66-ball 162 from de Villiers, South Africa posted World Cup’s second-highest total of 408 for five and then inflicted further humiliation on the Caribbean side by skittling them out for a measly 151 in 33.1 overs.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir returned career-best figures of five for 45 to add insult to the West Indies injury.
Now India and South Africa jointly hold the record for victory with highest margin in the World Cup history as the defending champions had humbled Bermuda by 257 runs in the 2007 edition.
South Africa have now jumped to second spot in the points table while the West Indies are now fourth.
Electing to bat, South Africa made a cautious but solid start with Hashim Amla (65) and Faf du Plessis (62) scoring sedate half centuries before swashbuckling de Villiers took over to treat the capacity Sydney Cricket Ground crowd with an unbelievable show of boundary hitting for a career-best knock.
He punished the Caribbean bowlers with 17 fours and eight sixes in his sensational unbeaten innings after coming at the fall of Amla’s wicket in the 30th over. The team total at that time was 146 for three.
South Africa scored 150 runs from the final 10 overs to score the second highest total in any World Cup match behind India’s 413 for five against Bermuda in Port-of-Spain in 2007.
West Indies needed Chris Gayle to fire chasing such a mammoth total but the big-hitting left-hander managed only 3 and the Caribbean side buckled under pressure.
Skipper Jason Holder top scored for them with a 56-run knock batting at number nine while opener Dwayne Smith managed 31 as only four Caribbean batsmen managed double-digit scores.
The 31-year-old de Villiers, who holds the record of fastest ODI hundred from just 31 balls, notched up the second quickest century in any World Cup with his 52-ball ton, missing the record by just two balls.
Kevin O’Brien had hit the fastest century from 50 balls against England in the 2011 edition.
De Villiers was particularly harsh on Holder whom he hit for 34 runs — four boundaries and two sixes — in the 48th over which had two no-ball free hits. This was the second most runs scored in an over in a World Cup, behind Herschelle Gibbs’ 36 against the Netherlands in the 2007 edition.
The rampaging South African captain also smashed Holder for 30 runs in the final over with the help of a boundary and four sixes. His strokemaking prowess was such that he took just 12 balls to reach 150 from 100.
25-year-old World Cup debutant Rilee Rossouw also made a strokeful 39-ball 61, studded with six fours and a six, and he competed in boundary hitting with his captain for a while before being the fourth man out. He shared 134 runs with de Villiers for the fourth wicket from just 12.3 overs.
The hapless West Indian bowlers were thrashed all over the park with Holder conceding 104 runs for one wicket from his 10 overs while left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn bled 79 runs without any success. Andre Russell and Chris Gayle took wickets apiece.