De Kock makes history

2013-12-12 00:00

QUINTON de Kock joined an elite band of cricketers yesterday as he became the fifth batsman in one-day international history to notch three consecutive hundreds when he was dismissed for 101 in the third ODI against India at SuperSport Park.

Having already plundered the Indian bowlers for 135 at the Wanderers and 106 in Durban, it was a question of whether he could go the distance again and become the youngest player to achieve the feat. With his usual calmness and authority, he answered the call, reaching his century from 116 balls with nine fours and two sixes.

His total of 342 runs sets a new record for the most runs in a bilateral three-match series and he shared an innings-saving 171-run partnership with skipper AB de Villiers (109) for the fourth wicket, rescuing the Proteas from a stuttering 28-3 as the Indian bowlers finally looked to have found some line, length and aggression. The partnership set the stage for the Proteas to breach the 300-run mark as they posted 301-8 in their 50 overs, scoring at 6,02 runs to the over.

Winning the toss, De Villiers opted for first strike under sunny skies, but with threatening clouds looming. Hashim Amla (13), Henry Davids (1) and JP Duminy (0) finished their work early with the bat and for once, it looked as if the Indian bowlers had hit their straps, getting early wickets and leaving the Proteas with all the work to do.

Their joy was short-lived as De Kock and De Villiers found their grooves in the big partnership that took the game away from the visitors. De Kock, playing his natural game and backing himself to make the shots that counted, was given lives on 37 and 43. That was the closest the Indians got to a wicket during the partnership as De Villiers in particular took to the bowling on a slow pitch which saw the Indian bowlers struggling as the innings progressed.

Without Jacques Kallis, Morné Morkel and Dale Steyn, the Proteas could have been deemed to look a little vulnerable, but the batsmen certainly rose to the occasion in the first half of proceedings.

De Villiers smashed six fours and five sixes in his showpiece, finishing his innings from 101 balls. His partnership with De Kock allowed David Miller to play his shots and spend some time at the crease, an opportunity he utilised to the full, finishing with an undefeated 56 (5x4, 3x6) from just 34 balls.

Ishant Sharma was the most impressive bowler, rewarded with 4-40 in his 10 overs. He bowled with pace and passion, getting the ball to seam, which bought him the wickets of Duminy and Davids. Mohammed Shami claimed three wickets, but was expensive in giving away 69 runs in 10 overs. Umesh Yadav was the only other bowler to get a wicket, finishing with 1-57 in nine overs.

It was another challenging total by the Proteas, but that’s as far as it got.

During the innings break, the heavens opened and heavy rain forced umpires to call matters off just after 8 pm without India starting their innings, thereby giving the Proteas a 2-0 series win.

Indian captain MS Dhoni said: “It was a good wicket for the batsmen and our bowlers used the conditions well early on. There are some positives to take into the Test series starting next week [December 18] and it showed the importance of taking early wickets. We extracted good pace and bounce at times, but it’s time to deal with the pressure of Test cricket.”

De Villiers said: “I am proud of how we have performed. We had momentum in all three games and took our opportunities well. Quinton’s achievement is incredible, especially against the No. 1 ranked team, but he still has lots to learn. It’s funny to have a youngster having a calming influence on an old man like me but it’s also great to see such talent coming through.”


South Africa innings

H Amla c Yuvraj Singh b Mohammed Shami13

Q de Kock b I Sharma101

H Davids c Raina b I Sharma1

JP Duminy c Raina b I Sharma0

AB de Villiers lbw Yadav109

D Miller not out56

R McLaren c Yadav b I Sharma6

W Parnell c R Sharma b Mohammed Shami9

V Philander b Mohammed Shami0

L Tsotsobe not out1

Extras (lb2, w3)5

TOTAL (for eight wickets, 50 overs)301

Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Amla, 4.3 ov), 2-28 (Davids, 7.1) 3-28 (Duminy 7.4), 4-199 (De Kock, 37.6), 5-252 (De Villiers, 43.4), 6-269, (McLaren, 46.2), 7-291 (Parnell, 49.1) 8-298 (Philander, 49.4)

Bowling: I Sharma 10-1-40-4, Yadav 9-0-57-1, Shami 10-0-69-3 (3w), Ashwin 9-0-63-0, Jadeja 6-0-32-0, Raina 3-0-16-0, Kohli 3-0-22-0.

Result: match abandoned.

De Kock Stats

• 16 innings to register four centuries

• Only wicket-keeper batsman to achieve this feat

• Four ODI centuries before turning 21 (Birthday is on December 17)

• Joins Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan), Saeed Anwar (Pakistan), AB de Villiers and Herschelle Gibbs in scoring three consecutive ODI hundreds

• Averaged 114,00 in the three-match series

• Has scored 741 runs in ODIs at an average of 46,3

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