South Africa hero De Kock credits 'silent assassin' Hendricks

By Sports Desk March 26, 2023

Quinton de Kock lauded "silent assassin" Reeza Hendricks after the pair put on 152 to kick-start South Africa's record run chase against West Indies.

South Africa beat the Windies by six wickets at Centurion on Sunday, chasing down a target of 259.

It marked the record successful run chase in a T20I, while De Kock (100 from 44 deliveries) hit the fastest 50 in the shortest format for South Africa, with his half-century coming from just 15 balls.

De Kock, supported ably by Hendricks (68), took the fight to Windies from the off, with the Proteas reaching 102-0 by the end of the first powerplay. It is the highest powerplay total in a T20I involving a full-member nation.

Hendricks picked up the slack after De Kock's dismissal at the hands of Raymon Reifer (1-42), and the latter put the credit on his fellow opener.

"It was quite special. Reeza was the silent assassin," said De Kock, whose century was his first in T20Is.

"When I got out he said, 'We just did something really special and we should be proud of what we've done'.

"We have played together for so long. We know what he can do."

Asked about his approach, De Kock added: "Just pick the right options and play with a bit of hope. Playing at Centurion, we know we can get a lot of runs here."

South Africa captain Aiden Markram finished the job with 38 runs from 21 balls, and said both teams can be proud of being involved in such a thrilling encounter, with 81 boundaries plundered between the sides.

"It was a great game to be a part of," said Markram. "All in all I think both teams can appreciate it."

Johnson Charles' sublime 118 from 46 deliveries set the Windies on their way to a big total that seemed set to be enough to see the tourists take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Charles' century came off just 39 balls, a new record for a Windies player.

"It was pretty, pretty crazy. When we came off halfway, we thought we had enough," said West Indies captain Rovman Powell.

"But credit to Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks. They applied pressure from ball one.

"We tell [Johnson] to go hard. We give him a licence to hit. He played very well today.

"This is the seventh game I've been on the T20 circuit that we scored 240 or 250 runs and we lost so I'm quite used to it now."

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