Rassie van der Dussen’s meteoric rise as a one-day international player has been put beyond doubt statistically.
The 32-year-old right-hander did his utmost to prevent South Africa’s 14-run defeat to Sri Lanka in a high-scoring first ODI in Colombo on Thursday, scoring 59 at exactly a run a ball.
But along the way, he went past a significant personal milestone: reaching 1 000 runs in the format after only 21 knocks.
Thursday’s performance powered him to 1 028 runs at an average of 73.42, and also meant that his total of ODI innings have now included nine half-centuries, as well as a three-figure score (123 not out against Pakistan at Centurion in April).
In reaching 1 000 runs as rapidly as he did, he earned himself the laurel of joint third-fastest in history - by number of innings - to the landmark.
Only Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman (18 knocks; feat achieved in 2018) and his compatriot Imam-ul-Haq (19; registered a year later) have been faster on that basis.
But Van der Dussen still stands alongside distinguished customers in third: England’s Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott (both SA-born), West Indies great Sir Vivian Richards, another Pakistani in Babar Azam and current Proteas colleague - though presently rested - Quinton de Kock.
The left-handed De Kock achieved the landmark as a still-callow figure in 2014.
So he and Van der Dussen now share the premier honours for South Africa specifically, with Hashim Amla running third - he required 24 innings to get to 1 000 in 2010.
But mentioning Amla is relevant because the now internationally-retired, decorated batsman stands alone in the world for the record as fastest (40 innings required) to the next big mark: 2 000 runs.
In an incredible, mere 16-innings charge between May 2010 and January 2011, Amla soared from 1 000 to 2 000 with this run of scores: 92, 34, 129, 45, 110, 110 again, 24, 35, 65, 119 not out, 10, 62, 50, 4, 16 and 64.
He is some way ahead of the next best to 2 000, as Pietersen, Babar and Zaheer Abbas (also Pakistan) needed 45 innings to earn current joint-second berth.
If Van der Dussen is to match compatriot Amla, he will need to get to 2 000 in a further 19 turns at the crease - so better than his already blistering '1 000' showing.
The Proteas play the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday at 11:00 SA time.
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