19th match, Sydney

South Africa v West Indies

At Sydney, February 27, 2015 (day/night). South Africa won by 257 runs. Toss: South Africa.
South Africa were 146 for three when de Villiers entered in the 30th over, to face Gayle's off-spin with three men around the bat. Content to let Rossouw make the running, he eased to 36 from his first 26 deliveries, before belting 17 from the 40th. It was the cue for a carnival of savagery, as 150 spewed from the last ten overs. A fine golfer, de Villiers employed a classic drive to club four sixes over long-on, and added a couple of sweeps over fine leg from his opposite number, Holder; the 48th over cost 34, and the last 30. De Villiers needed 30 deliveries to reach 50, but his century came up in just 52, then the second-quickest in World Cups. The 150, however, was without precedent in any one-day international, arriving from his 64th ball, and smashing the previous record - 83, by Shane Watson for Australia against Bangladesh at Mirpur in April 2011. It came only six weeks after de Villiers had plundered 149 from 44 balls against largely the same attack at Johannesburg. Now he finished with 162 from 66, with 17 fours and eight sixes. Holder's courage in bowling himself at the death brought up a century of his own: 104 from ten overs, the most expensive by a West Indian in ODIs, after starting with 5-2-9-1. The mayhem will not be readily forgotten, particularly a lap-swept six over fine leg off Russell from two feet outside off stump. Bewildered and broken, West Indies soon looked to be heading for more records. Gayle, fresh from the World Cup's first double-century, fell to his fourth ball, and they plummeted to 63 for seven in the face of some sublime leg-spin and googlies from Imran Tahir. Holder's defiant half-century could not avert his side's heaviest defeat, which also equalled the heaviest in World Cups - until Afghanistan outdid them against Australia a few days later. NEIL MANTHORP Man of the Match: A. B. de Villiers.

© John Wisden & Co