Heinrich Klaasen smashed an outrageous 83-ball 174 to propel South Africa to a 164-run win over Australia in the fourth one-day international, leaving the series tied at 2-2 heading into the finale on Sunday. Klaasen’s effort was the best by any batter coming into bat after the 25h over of an ODI. The previous best of 162* was jointly held by AB de Villiers and Jos Buttler. The keeper-batter nearly broke the legendary Kapil Dev’s world record for the highest ODI score batting at No.5 or lower. The former India captain had smashed 175 in the 1983 World Cup against Zimbabwe.
The Proteas posted a huge 416/5 on Friday mainly thanks to Klaasen, who came in at No. 5 and hit 13 fours and 13 sixes in the fourth-highest ODI innings by a South African batter.
He was caught on the boundary rope off the final ball of the innings, by which time he’d guided the South Africans to their third-highest ODI total.
Australia was bowled out for 252 in 34.5 overs and has seen its 2-0 lead wiped out in the five-match series ahead of the Cricket World Cup in India next month.
But a nasty blow to Travis Head’s left hand off a Gerald Coetzee lifter that forced the Australian opener to retire hurt was of more immediate concern. Scans had already confirmed a fracture with Australia still determining whether he will be able to play a part in the upcoming World Cup, which is three weeks away in India.
“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,” coach Andrew McDonald was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia. “How long that (recovery) time frame is, we’re yet to determine that.”
Klaasen shared a 222-run stand for the fifth wicket with David Miller (82 not out in 45 balls). Rassie van der Dussen hit 62 in 65.
Josh Hazlewood took 2-79. Leg spinner Adam Zampa was the most expensive with his 10 overs returning 0-113. That included nine of South Africa’s overall 20 sixes.
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey was the standout batter for Australia, hitting 99 in 77, and Tim David scored 35. South Africa quicks Lungi Ngidi (4-51) and Kagiso Rabida (3-41) did most of the damage.
The right-handed Klaasen, a Pretoria local whose family was in attendance for his record-breaking innings, was lbw for a second-ball duck to Head in the third match of the series in Potchefstroom.
“I had a shocker of a day the other day in Potch so it’s lucky to bounce back immediately and play an innings like that,” Klaasen told the on-field broadcaster. “It’s definitely up there as one of my better ones.”