Faf du Plessis © Getty Images (File Photo)
Faf du Plessis scored a tremendous 46-ball century © Getty Images (File Photo)

By Shiamak Unwalla

Jan 11, 2015

Faf du Plessis scored a blazing 119 to lead South Africa to 231 for seven against West Indies in the second Twenty20 International (T20I) at Johannesburg. He amassed 105 with David Miller for the third wicket, and then put on useful stands with Justin Ontong and Farhaan Beherdien, as the Proteas put the Caribbean bowlers to the sword.

Rille Rossouw and Morne van Wyk came out to open the innings, but the latter couldn’t survive the first over, as he hit a short ball from Sulieman Benn to Kieron Pollard at point. Rossouw smashed a couple of sixes but edged one from Jason Holder behind to Denesh Ramdin. At 21 for two in 2.2 overs, Miller came in to join du Plessis.

The duo exploded soon thereafter, with du Plessis playing on both sides of the wicket with abandon. Miller too invoked his Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) form en rote to a 26-ball 47 which included four fours and three sixes. The pair added 105 runs for the third wicket, as South Africa dominated for the entirety of the innings. Miller fell with the score on 126, and was replaced in the middle by Ontong.

Ontong scored 19 of the 30 runs runs he and du Plessis put on together, but was dismissed just as he was starting to look well-set. He top-edged an attempted pull off Dwayne Bravo to Holder, who took the catch easily. That brought in Behardien, but he remained a mute spectator in his stand with du Plessis.

Du Plessis got to his hundred in tremendous fashion, going from 77 off 39 balls to 101 off 46 in one over. He took Sheldon Cottrell for a brace off the first ball of the over, then hit two boundaries — the second of which was off a no-ball — before taking two more twos off the next two balls before hammering a six and a four to bring up only the second T20I ton by a South African after Richard Levi.

He slowed down a little after that, mainly due to exhaustion at having batted since the first over itself, but still managed to dispatch the poor balls. The penultimate ball he faced went for six off a Jason Holder yorker, which also helped him take the record of highest individual score for a South African batsman in T20Is. He was out for 119 off the last ball of the 19th over, caught by Bravo off the bowling of Holder. New man David Wiese hit a six off the first ball he faced, off the first ball of the 20th over, before holing out off his next delivery. South Africa managed to end at a commanding 231 for seven.

Brief scores:

South Africa 231 for 7 (Faf du Plessis 119, David Miller 47; Jason Holder 2 for 40, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 32) vs West Indies.

Full scorecard

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)