Heinrich Klaasen smashed a blistering 174 off just 83 balls as South Africa thrashed Australia by 164 runs in the fourth ODI at Centurion to level the five-match series at 2-2. Klaasen’s innings was the fastest century ever scored by a South African in an ODI, and it helped the Proteas post a mammoth total of 416/5.
Australia’s reply never really got going, and they were eventually bowled out for 252 in just 34.5 overs. Alex Carey was the only Australian batter to offer any resistance, scoring 99, but he was last man out as Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada picked up four wickets each.
The victory was a much-needed one for South Africa, who had lost the first two games of the series. It was also a timely boost for their confidence ahead of the upcoming ODI World Cup in India.
Klaasen’s innings was one of the most destructive ever seen in an ODI match. He hit 13 fours and 13 sixes, and he looked completely unstoppable at times. He put on a stand of 222 runs for the fifth wicket with David Miller (82 not out), which is the highest partnership ever recorded for South Africa in an ODI.
Klaasen’s century was also his first in ODI cricket. He had previously scored three half-centuries, but he had never been able to go on and convert them into hundreds. His innings on Friday will give him a lot of confidence ahead of the World Cup, and he will be hoping to continue his good form in India.
Australia’s Injury Concerns
Australia’s already lengthy injury list grew even longer on Friday when Travis Head fractured his hand after being hit by a ball from Gerald Coetzee. Head was forced to retire hurt on 17, and he is now likely to miss the rest of the ODI series, as well as the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Head’s injury is a major blow to Australia’s World Cup hopes. He was one of their most important players in the last World Cup, and he was expected to play a key role in their batting lineup again this year.
South Africa’s victory in the fourth ODI was a comprehensive one, and it showed that they are a team to be reckoned with at the upcoming World Cup. Klaasen’s innings was the highlight of the match, and it will give him a lot of confidence ahead of the tournament.
Australia, on the other hand, will need to find a way to cope without Head. His injury is a major blow to their World Cup hopes, and they will need to find someone else to step up and fill the void.