Quinton de Kock was again in great free-scoring form, but Rilee Rossouw said “watch me!” as he plundered a magnificent century to set South Africa up for a formidable score of 205/5 in their T20 World Cup match against Bangladesh at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Rossouw proved his world-class credentials with 109 off just 56 balls, an innings of sheer class, skill and power, with the left-hander hitting seven fours and eight sixes. Coming in to bat in the second over, Rossouw found fifth gear quickly and showed his boundary-hitting prowess as well as some clever innovation on the touch-shots.
Having won the toss and elected to bat – surprisingly, given the rain around – South Africa lost Temba Bavuma (2) at the end of the first over. The embattled captain shaped to come down the pitch to Taskin Ahmed, but then just fended at an away-swinger and was caught behind.
De Kock and Rossouw hardly skipped a beat though as they added 163 in 13.3 overs, the second-highest partnership in T20 World Cup history, just behind the 166 the legendary Sri Lankan pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara put on against the West Indies in Bridgetown in 2010.
De Kock blazed 63 off just 38 balls in another thrilling display, showing more of the surgeon’s touch as he stroked seven fours and three sixes, and used a variety of sweeps to great effect.
Read more: De Kock masterclass not enough as rain robs Proteas of victory
At 170/2 with five-and-a-half overs left when De Kock lofted off-spinner Afif Hossain to long-off, you would have expected South Africa to post at least 230. You can forgive Rossouw for taking fewer risks as he approached his century, becoming the first batsman from a Full Member nation to score back-to-back T20 International hundreds, something not even Chris Gayle managed.
But valuable momentum just leaked from the innings, with the pitch also slowing down and Bangladesh fighting back superbly with the ball. Just 35 runs were scored off the last 33 balls as the Proteas also lost Tristan Stubbs (7) and Aiden Markram (10), neither of whom were able to score at more than a run-a-ball.
David Miller and Wayne Parnell were the batsmen at the crease at the end of the innings and they could only score two runs off six deliveries.
Left-armer Mustafizur Rahman was superb, conceding just 25 runs in his four overs, while Hasan Mahmud and left-arm spinner Shakib al-Hasan were also excellent at the death.
Also read: T20 World Cup warm-up washed out, but Proteas ‘ready to go’