Richard Levi demolished the bowling attack of New Zealand by smashing the fastest Century in Twenty20 internationals as South Africa squared the series 1-1. He smashed unbeaten 117 runs off just 51 balls studded with 13 hefty sixes and 5 fours in his thundering knock.
The Kiwis scored 173 runs for the loss of four wickets in 83 minutes and the Proteas achieved the target by pummeling 174 consuming 16 overs which took an hour and seven minutes.
The panel found no difficulty to announce Levi as the ‘Player of the match’ after his scintilatting knock.
The interesting match was held at Seddon Park, Hamilton on February 19, 2012 and the capacity crowd will remember the batting of Levi for a long time to come.
Earlier, the South African skipper, AB de Villiers won with the coin and offered the batting to the hosts on a flat looking pitch.
Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill initiated the innings in a smart manner and sent the ball out of the rope frequently and collected 35 runs in the first four overs. Nicol ran himself out for 23 with one six and three fours as Brendon McCullum came to the crease. They continued with the attack and scored 13 runs in the eighth over which included three fours.
Guptill lost his wicket while trying to escalate the run rate for 47 off 35 balls with one six and seven fours and added 60 runs for the second wicket. McCullum was the next batsman who went back to the pavilion at his personal score of 35 off 31 deliveries with one six and 4 fours. Kane Williamson and James Franklin chipped in with 28 each as the Black Caps managed 173 runs when the allotted quota of 20 overs was utilised.
Johan Botha , Morne Morkal and Marchant de Lange were the successful bowlers with one wicket each.
Richard Ernst Levi came in the center for his only second match with the ever reliable Hashim Amla and started toying with the rival bowling. Levi swept the fourth ball for a six over fine leg and dispatched 16 runs in the second over with two sixes and one four. Amla was gone on the first ball of the third over caught by Franklin at long-off at the bowling of Nathan McCullum for two runs. Wayne Parnell was the next batsman who lost his wicket for four runs and the Proteas had lost two wickets for 41 runs in 4.2 overs.
AB de Villiers joined in next with Levi and kept heading towards the target briskly as the later achieved his fifty in the seventh over. Levi preferred to chase while sending the ball flying over the rope more than reeling and showered sixes in almost every over. The peak was witnessed in the 12th over off Doug Bracewell when the ball fated three skiers and costed 21 runs.
De Villiers assisted him well at the other end and he dispatched the winning boundary on the last ball of the 16th over. Levi remained unbeaten on 117 runs off 51 balls which included 13 towering sixes and 5 fours as the Captain was at the crease with 39 runs.
Levi recorded his name in the history books by plundering century in 45 balls and broke the record previously held by Chris Gayle who had earier scored the ton in 50 balls vs. South Africa on September 11, 2007. Gayle was bowled for 117 runs off 57 balls with 10 sixes and 7 fours so Levi has surpassed the most sixes in a T20 match as well.
Nathan McCullum and Rob Nicol were able to leave some impression by claiming one wicket each.
South Aafrica won the match comprehensively by eight wickets and the three match series was levelled 1-1, the third and final match will be played at Eden Park, Auckland on February 22, 2012.