AB de Villiers hits fastest ODI century in huge win

AB de Villiers celebrates smashing the fastest one-day century in his side's mammoth total of 439 for two off 50 overs. Picture: Getty
AB de Villiers celebrates smashing the fastest one-day century in his side's mammoth total of 439 for two off 50 overs. Picture: Getty
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South Africa batsman AB de Villiers scored the fastest one-day international century as South Africa piled on the runs in a crushing 148-run defeat of the West Indies.

The number three needed just 31 deliveries to reach the milestone in the second ODI in Johannesburg, five fewer than previous record holder Corey Anderson, who needed 36 balls to pass the mark against the same opposition last year.

The Proteas ended their innings on 439 for two, four runs shy of the highest ODI score by a team – set by Sri Lanka in 2006 against Holland.

And it was a target that proved well beyond the tourists, who reached 291 for seven in reply, with Dwayne Smith (64) and Denesh Ramdin (57) the highlights of a respectable – if futile – chase.

South Africa openers Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw also scored centuries as they made 247 in just over 38 overs for the first wicket.

De Villiers said: “I think I was on 92 when I realised it had to be close.

“I was never sure how many balls it was that Corey Anderson took to get to 100 but I knew I had to be close and I wasn’t going to take ones in the 90s.

“I had a lot of time to warm up in the changing room and I really got myself going there. I did a lot of walks up and down thinking of how I should be playing.

“[Coach] Russell [Domingo] actually made a really good call towards the end of the innings by asking me to go in.

“I wanted David [Miller] to go in to go and take the left-arm spinner on.

“I sort of played my knock even before I went out to bat and the word aggression was probably the thing for me today. “I wanted to go from the word go.”

De Villiers hit scoring shots off 41 of the 44 balls he faced, including 16 sixes to equal Rohit Sharma’s record, but it was the three he could not get away that played on his mind afterwards.

“It actually irritated me facing those dots,” said South Africa’s ODI captain. “It’s a bonus breaking records but I hate facing dot balls. I did remember them walking off.”

Amla, who ended the innings unbeaten on 153 from 142 deliveries, praised De Villiers, saying: “He’s an amazing player. I don’t think there’s anybody else who can do it as consistently as AB.”

Rossouw scored 128 from 115 balls before he was caught at mid-off to give Jerome Taylor a wicket.

But it was largely the De Villiers show and he quickly broke Sanath Jayasuriya’s 19-year record for the fastest ODI fifty, taking a mere 16 deliveries to achieve the feat by launching Jason Holder over the long-off boundary.

He then needed a further 15 balls to break Anderson’s year-old fastest ODI century record – smashing ten sixes and eight fours in doing so.

Any West Indian hopes that De Villiers would subsequently relax were soon dismissed as he and Amla continued to pepper the New Wanderers Stadium boundary on regular occasions.

De Villiers soon set his sights on breaking another record – the most sixes in an individual ODI innings – and he equalled the record Rohit Sharma set in 2013 against Australia when he smashed his 16th maximum on the penultimate ball of the penultimate over.

The wicketkeeper-batsman could not score another to make the record his own, however, when he went for another huge hit off Andre Russell and was caught at deep extra cover with two balls left having scored 149 from 44 balls.

Amla and David Miller saw out proceedings for South Africa, while West Indies’ daunting task became even more difficult when Chris Gayle pulled Morne Morkel to Farhaan Behardien for 19.

Leon Johnson came and went for a single but Smith and Marlon Samuels tried to make a fight of it with a fourth-wicket stand of 59 before the former was removed by Behardien.

Vernon Philander then ended Samuels’ stay on 40 before another successful partnership of 83 was built between Ramdin and Jonathan Carter.

However, the runs could not come quickly enough despite their best efforts and Carter fell for 40 to Dale Steyn with Russell soon following for a duck to give Imran Tahir his one wicket.

Ramdin was the last man to fall, Faf du Plessis taking the catch at deep square leg to give Morkel his second scalp, with the damage largely done before West Indies had even arrived at the crease.