A pulsating second international century by Rilee Rossouw powered the Proteas to a first win at the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after they thumped Bangladesh by a record 104 runs at the SCG in Sydney on Thursday.
The left-hander smashed eight sixes and seven fours in a blistering career-best 109 off 56 balls to help the South Africans amass 205 for five. Anrich Nortje (4/10) and Tabraiz Shamsi (3/20) then shared seven wickets as the Tigers were bundled out for 101 in 16.3 overs handing the Proteas their biggest ever T20I victory against a Test-playing nation.
It was a result that kick-started the World Cup for the South Africans after their opening match against Zimbabwe ended disappointingly in the Hobart rain.
Captain Temba Bavuma’s charges had to settle for a point in that game due to the weather and the elements against threatened proceedings at the Sydney Cricket Ground when the teams were forced off after only 5.3 overs.
But fortunately for the Proteas, they returned uninterrupted not long after and went on to complete a comprehensive win, one that moved them to three points in Group 2 and significantly bolstered their net run-rate.
The result was set up by Rossouw and also the excellent Quinton de Kock, who struck 63 off 38 balls (7 fours, 3 sixes) after Bavuma won the toss and batted first.
The skipper was out early when he edged Taskin Ahmed behind for two in the first over, but from there it was one way traffic for the African side.
Wicketkeeper De Kock and Rossouw shared in a record second wicket partnership of 168, beating the previous mark of 131 held by Faf du Plessis and Reeza Hendricks at Cape Town in 2019.
The former went on to record his 14th T20I 50, while the in-form latter posted his second successive ton after making 100* against India at Indore earlier this month. In between Rossouw hit 54* in a warm-up game against New Zealand, whilst he did not bat in the abandoned match against Zimbabwe earlier in the week.
Despite their partnership, the Proteas’ innings tailed off at the end, with the final 5.3 overs yielding just 35 runs for the loss of three more wickets – the eventual target set at 206.
However, the bowlers more than made up for the poor finish with Nortje spearheading a ruthless display. The fast bowler rocked Bangladesh with three early wickets – the two openers Soumya Sarkar (15) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (9) as well as captain Shakib Al Hasan (1) – leaving the score on 39 for three.
After Kagiso Rabada (1/24) removed Afif Hossain (1), Shamsi made merry with three more scalps mixed with one for Keshav Maharaj (1/24) as the Asians were dismissed with 21 balls to spare.