Klaasen falls one short from breaking Kapil's historic world record, South Africa rewrite stats to thrash Australia
In the fourth one-day international, Heinrich Klaasen struck an incredible 174 off 83 balls to lead South Africa to a 164-run victory over Australia. With the series level at 2-2 going into Sunday's decider, this performance was spectacular.
Following an ODI's twenty-five-hour over, Klaasen's effort was the finest of any batter to come up to bat.
Together, AB de Villiers and Jos Buttler owned the previous record of 162*. The global record for the highest ODI score batting at No. 5 or below, held by the legendary Kapil Dev, was almost broken by the keeper-batter. When India faced Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup, the former captain of the team crushed 175 points.
With Klaasen at number five with 13 fours and 13 sixes in the fourth-highest ODI innings by a South African batsman, the Proteas amassed a massive 416/5 on Friday.
By the time he was caught on the boundary rope off the last ball of the innings, he had led the South Africans to their third-highest total in one-day international cricket.
Australia's two-match lead in the five-match series was destroyed when they were bowled out for 252 in 34.5 overs, one month before the Cricket World Cup in India.
More concerning, though, was the severe punch to Travis Head's left hand from a Gerald Coetzee lifter, which prompted the Australian opener to leave the game injured. His fracture has already been verified by scans, and Australia is currently assessing whether he will be able to participate in the World Cup in India, which is in three weeks.
Cricket Australia cited coach Andrew McDonald as stating, "He's going to go in for some more scans tomorrow to work out the detail of (the injury), and then we'll work out the management from there." "We haven't determined how long that (recovery) time frame is yet."
David Miller and Klaasen combined for 222 runs for the fifth wicket (82 balls remaining in 45 balls). 62 in 65 was Rassie van der Dussen's score.
Hazlewood Josh took 2-79. Adam Zampa, a leg spinner, was the most costly, returning 0-113 in his ten overs. Nine of the 20 total sixes for South Africa were included in that.
Australia's best batsman was wicketkeeper Alex Carey, who made 99 runs in 77 overs, followed by Tim David's 35. The most of the damage was done by South African quicks Lungi Ngidi (4-51) and Kagiso Rabida (3-41).
In the third game of the series in Potchefstroom, the right-handed Klaasen, a resident of Pretoria whose family was present for his innings of record-breaking play, was leg before wicket (lbw) to Head on the second ball of the innings.
"It's fortunate to recover quickly and play an innings like that after having such a shocking day in Potch," Klaasen said to the on-field commentator. "That's undoubtedly among my better ones."