SA vs AUS: Klaasen’s breathtaking 174 helps South Africa bring the ODI series to parity

Australia and South Africa locked horns in the fourth game of the five-match ODI series on Friday, September 15 at SuperSport Park, Centurion. Being 2-0 ahead in the series, Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh won the toss and elected to bowl first. Little did he know, he would regret his decision a few hours later as Heinrich Klaasen played a breathtaking innings to help South Africa post a massive score of 416/5 in their allotted 50 overs.

The hosts got off to a steady start with opener Quinton de Kock (45 off 64) and Reeza Hendricks (28 off 34) adding 64 runs for the first wicket off 77 balls. The innings kept on progressing at a run rate of under five an over in the first 25 overs as they were the hosts were 120/3 after 25.1 overs when Klaasen walked to the crease. He brought up his hundred off just 57 balls, which is the second fastest ton scored against Australia.

The 32-year-old went berserk and ended up playing a breathtaking innings of 174 (83) clobbering 13 fours and as many sixes in his innings. He got involved in a massive 222-run stand with David Miller (82 off 45) off just 92 balls to propel South Africa’s total past 400. Josh Hazlewood was the most successful bowler from Australia as he registered figures of 2/79 in ten overs. Meanwhile, Adam Zampa registered the joint most expensive figures by a bowler in an ODI game.

Alex Carey was the lone warrior in Australia’s innings

In reply, Australia’s innings never got going as they lost their opener David Warner (12 off 13) in the third over with just 16 runs on the board. The Kangaroos kept on losing wickets trying to keep up with the required run rate and were 200/6 at one stage. Alex Carey played a valiant knock of 99 (77) smashing nine fours and four sixes in his innings and fell one run short of his century. As a result, Australia were 252/9 in 34.5 overs with Travis Head getting retired hurt early in the innings and lost by 164 runs.

Lungi Ngidi (4/51, 8 overs) and Kagiso Rabada (3/41, 7.5 overs) shared wickets among them and helped their side level the series 2-2 with one game to play. Klaasen was awarded Player of the Match for his breathtaking innings.