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AB or Quinton: Who Has Hit the Best Hundreds as a South African at a Cricket World Cup
- Retired talisman AB de Villiers hit four centuries between the 2007 and 2015 Cricket World Cup
- Quinton de Kock has now hit three hundreds at the 2023 edition with his 174 against Bangladesh
- De Kock's latest was the 20th hundred across the nine editions South Africa has participated in
The Proteas have been dispatching the white ball to all corners.
South Africa has always lit up the early phases of the Cricket World Cup and is building the momentum needed to break their tournament curse.
A South African batsman has made 100 or more on 20 occasions, with the opponents, strike rate and moment determining the importance of the knock.
Here are the best innings played by a South African at a Cricket World Cup
5. Herchelle Gibbs - 143 vs New Zealand
The supremely gifted Gibbs's first World Cup 100 came in a losing effort against Australia four years prior.
His second came while batting at the Wanderers against New Zealand, and Gibbs guided to Proteas 306/6 with a match-winning 143 off 141.
The tournament would be a dud for the hosts, as they crashed out early in the group stage.
4. Gary Kirsten - 188 vs UAE
Several batsmen had come close in the 1992 tournament but South Africa would need to wait until 1996 for their first hundred.
Gary Kirsten opened the batting with Andrew Hudson (who himself would go on to score 161 against the Netherlands later in the tournament) and smashed 13 fours and 4 sixes at a strike rate of 118.23.
It remains South Africa's highest individual score at a World Cup but as it came against a team on the fringes of world cricket, its memory is numerical only.
3. AB de Villiers - 162 vs West Indies
AB de Villiers has scored four hundreds at Cricket World Cups. His first was 146 against West Indies in 2007, and his last was 162 against the same opponent in 2015.
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What sets this innings apart is that it came in just 66 balls at a blistering strike rate of 245.45, as South Africa past 400 in a World Cup for the first time.
Sadly, the Proteas would again lose to New Zealand in the semi-final marking the last time they played in a World Cup knockout match.
2. Quinton de Kock - 174 vs Bangladesh
The third hundred of Quinny's 2023 Cricket World Cup was his largest and quickest.
De Kock fell 14 runs short of Kirsten's 1996 record and was 12 better than AB's, scoring the second-highest total by a South African, with 174 off 140 balls.
The hope an innings gives is as vital, and de Kock will aim to produce something like this again in the coming weeks, firstly to equal AB's tally and secondly, to get South Africa to where they have never been before.
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1. Heinrich Klaasen - 109 vs England
The visuals left behind from Klaasen's 109 are as dramatic as you are likely to see in the gentleman's game.
Watching the perspiration pour off Klaasen, and Rassie van der Dussen earlier in the innings, amplified the physical endurance needed to set the mammoth team total.
Klaasen's strike rate was 162.69, comparatively slower than AB's effort, but faster than Quinny's 124.29.
The cherry on top is that although South Africa missed out on reaching 400 by just one run, defending champions England needed to break that psychological barrier, a task they failed at dismally.
Early tournament progression
Sports Brief recently reported on the wake-up call delivered to the Proteas by the Netherlands.
At the time, three games had been played by each team and each of the participants were evaluated.
South Africa came out on top in the defining tie with England which has left the defending champions teetering.
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