South Africa 428 for 5 (van der Dussen 108, Markram 106, de Kock 100) beat Sri Lanka 326 (Asalanka 79, Mendis 76, Shanaka 68, Coetzee 3-68) by 102 runs
A trio of centuries, including the fastest ever in a World Cup, saw South Africa lay down a commanding marker as they kicked off their World Cup campaign with an authoritative 102-run win over Sri Lanka in Delhi.
In the process they also etched in several records. Here’s a list of some of the key ones:
- South Africa’s total of 428 for 5 is the highest ever total in a World Cup game, as well as the highest at the Arun Jaitley Stadium
- This was just the fourth time an ODI has seen three centurions from the same side
- Aiden Markram’s 49-ball century was the fastest in World Cups, and by a South African, surpassing Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien
- The 107 boundaries across both innings is the most ever in a World Cup game
- This was the highest aggregate for a men’s ODI World Cup match, going past the 714 runs in the 2019 game between Australia and Bangladesh in Nottingham
On the whole though it was a day for the bowlers to forget, with the game largely decided as a straight shootout between the batters. And in that sense, while the end result may show a pretty decisive loss for Sri Lanka, this is a game that they will feel they could garner more positives than what might have seemed possible at the halfway mark.
Sure, five of their bowlers went at over eight an over – three at nine or more – but a side that had major question marks over their ability to score quick runs gave a good account of themselves in what was always going to be an unlikely chase.
Kusal Mendis set the tone in the chase blitzing his way to a 42-ball 76. His fifty came off just 25 deliveries, and before a single other batter had scored a single run – Pathum Nissanka was out castled for a duck, while Kusal Perera remained scoreless as Mendis cut loose.
Mendis would reach his fifty at the team total of 54 – the lowest team total at which any batter completed his fifty in men’s ODIs (where known). He would also plunder eight sixes, as Sri Lanka struck nine in total inside the first 10 overs – the second-most in a men’s ODI innings (where we have ball-by-ball data), one behind the West Indies who hit ten sixes in their first ten overs vs England in 2019.
But once he fell, Sri Lanka’s slim chances became even more faint. Fifties from Charith Asalanka (79 off 65) and Dasun Shanaka (68 off 62) kept the flame of hope briefly alive, but the task by that point was always well out of reach. Some late unexpected hitting from Kasun Rajitha then brought the margin of defeat even closer, which could be key if net run rate comes into play during the latter stages of the tournament.
Full report to follow