by: Atika Mehboob TN Sports Pakistan:
South Africa made an imposing start to their World Cup campaign with a dominant 102-run victory over Sri Lanka in Delhi.
Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock, and Aiden Markram’s impressive centuries turned out to be the game-changers. Their powerful batting helped South Africa set numerous records, including:
Their score of 428 for 5, the highest in a World Cup match and at the Kotla. The rare occurrence of three players scoring a century in the same ODI match. Markram’s century in just 49 balls set a World Cup and South African record.
A record 107 boundaries in the match. The match’s aggregate score surpassed the 714 runs from the 2019 Australia-Bangladesh match.
While the scoreboard suggested an easy win for South Africa, Sri Lanka had their moments. Kusal Mendis’s aggressive 42-ball 76 set the tone for their chase. His half-century coming off just 25 balls was a record in itself, achieved when the team’s total was at 54, the lowest known team score for an individual’s half-century. Mendis’s power-hitting saw him score eight sixes in the first 10 overs, only one six short of the record held by the West Indies.
Despite valiant efforts from Charith Asalanka and Dasun Shanaka, the target proved too steep. Late striking from Kasun Rajitha reduced the deficit, which could be crucial considering net run rates later in the tournament.
Markram’s 106 off 54 balls was the highlight of the day. His century combined control with aggressive play, overshadowing de Kock’s 83-ball century and van der Dussen’s 103-ball ton. Their partnership of 204 runs set the stage for South Africa’s massive total.
The only relief for Sri Lanka came when Temba Bavuma was dismissed early on. The initial 10 overs saw them contain South Africa to 48 runs, but the subsequent acceleration by the South Africans was unstoppable. Markram’s entry only exacerbated their problems, as he made his intentions clear with aggressive boundary hits. His milestone of 50 runs took 34 balls, and the next 50 only 15.
Other notable contributions included Heinrich Klaasen’s quick 36 off 20 balls and David Miller’s 39 off 21 balls. Marco Jansen also chipped in with 12 off 7.
South Africa’s batting performance was a masterclass, suggesting that such dominance might not be a one-off, but something they can achieve again in the tournament.