Published On: Sat, Oct 1st, 2016

De Kock blasts South Africa to ODI win against Australia


Cricket - Australia v South Africa - first ODI cricket match

South Africa opener Quinton de Kock hit a masterful 178 runs in a comfortable six-wicket victory over top-ranked Australia on Friday in the first one-day international of the five-match series.

After Australia posted 294 for nine in their innings, South Africa reached their victory target with more than 13 overs remaining.

The 23-year-old De Kock hit 11 sixes and 16 fours in 113 balls to record the second highest ODI score by a South African batsman after Gary Kirsten hit 188 against the United Arab Emirates at the 1996 World Cup in Pakistan.

De Kock flayed the visiting bowlers to all corners in the high altitude batting paradise of the Highveld.

He featured in an opening stand of 145 before Rilee Rossouw was trapped lbw for 63 to the first ball from leg spinner Adam Zampa.

He then put on another 123 runs with captain Faf du Plessis and was the fourth wicket to fall, caught on the boundary by Travis Head off Scott Boland.

Australia had begun their innings brightly with David Warner (40) and Aaron Finch (33) making good starts while George Bailey top scored with 74 off 90 balls.

South Africa, however, took regular wickets and kept the run rate under six on the Centurion pitch, which traditionally favours the team batting second. Andile Phehlukwayo, playing only his second ODI for South Africa, took 4-44. The teams meet next at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)

South African wicket-keeper-batsman, Quinton de Kock, is one of those cricketers, who progressed through the ranks quickly. Spotted as an amazing talent at King Edward VII High School, he was soon a part of the Under-19 team for the World Cup. He finished as South Africa’s top batsman in that tournament, scoring 284 runs from six matches with a highest score of 126 and at an average of 48.33. He caught the selectors’ attention in the Champions League T20, where he was involved in a match-winning stand with Neil McKenzie against Mumbai.

Soon after, he became a part of the limited-overs squad of the senior team. Towards the end of 2013, the floodgates opened. Asked to open in the ODIs, in the absence of Graeme Smith, de Kock rattled up four tons within the span of a month. Three of them were on the trot against India. He became the youngest South African to score four ODI tons. He became the highest scorer in a three-match bilateral series and the first player to score three tons in a three-match bilateral series.

South Africa had found a star and an able replacement for Smith at the top of the order. In 2014, he also became the joint fastest to reach 1,000 runs in ODIs. He shares the record with Vivian Richards, Kevin Pietersen, and Jonathan Trott. De Kock though, did not have a good time with the bat in the World T20 2014 as he scored at a slow pace and generally got out after getting starts. De Kock has also played in the IPL for the Hyderabad team in the 2013 edition. In 2014, he played for Delhi.

AB de Villiers could have kept wickets, but he preferred having de Kock as the frontline wicketkeeper-batsman in the team for the 2015 World Cup. The skipper had the confidence in the youngster backed him despite his repeated failures. While the 22-year-old did fire in the knock-out game against Sri Lanka scoring an unbeaten 78, his overall performance left a lot to be desired.

Courtesy: ARY & CB

About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology

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