Chris Gayle Destroys Proteas Again

A string of records fell in a boundary-laden second T20 international in Johannesburg on Sunday, but in the end not enough of them were on the side of South Africa to deny the West Indies a series victory.  Faf Du Plessis’ 119 from just 56 balls was the highest score by a South African in a Twenty20 international, and made him the first South African batsman – and eighth overall – to have notched up international centuries in all three formats.  It also saw him score the second fastest T20I hundred of all time when he reached three figures in 46 balls, which helped South Africa amass 231/7 after they had been put in to bat.

Unfortunately the Proteas were unable to contain Chris Gayle (90 off 41 balls), and this time he was aided by an on-song Marlon Samuels who struck 60 in 39 balls as the pair put on 152 for the second wicket – the equal third highest partnership for any wicket in Twenty20 internationals.  With the Windies’ strong middle order all chipping in, the tourists reached their target with four wickets and four balls to spare, giving them the record for the highest successful run chase in Twenty20 cricket, as well as their highest score in Twenty20 internationals.  With a perfect batting wicket and the thin air helping the ball to fly further, 12 sixes were hit in each innings, making this the joint second highest number of sixes hit in a Twenty20 international.

David Miller hit the biggest of the day when he smashed one straight out of the ground on his way to 47 from 26 balls, but his dismissal via a run-out ended a 102-run alliance with Du Plessis and the Proteas lost regular wickets thereafter.  The Caribbean cricketers were always on track thanks to the stand between Gayle and Samuels, until David Wiese derailed them with three wickets in seven balls that sent both batsmen plus Kieron Pollard back to the shed.  Kyle Abbott and Aaron Phangiso chipped away at the West Indian middle order, but not before Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy had all contributed cameos that kept the visitors up with the asking rate.

Sammy (20 not out from seven balls) finished the match in the fashion that it deserved, lofting a six high over midwicket to give the tourists a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.