The independent voice of cricket

South Africa v West Indies 2023

South Africa and West Indies just broke nearly every T20 batting record in existence

by Patrick Ardill 7 minute read

South Africa and West Indies locked horns in a historic, record-breaking T20I encounter, in the penultimate game of the West Indies’ tour of the Proteas. Here are all the numbers and records that were broken during an extraordinary afternoon at Centurion.


When South Africa chased down the 258-run target set for them, with seven balls to spare, a new highest match aggregate score was set, pipping the Rawalpindi run-fest that took place just over a fortnight ago between Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators in the PSL. The next highest aggregate score in a T20 international fixture was the 489-run affair between India and the West Indies in 2016 (which also saw Johnson Charles hit a 33-ball 79).



13 runs superior to Bulgaria’s chase against Serbia last year, and 14 better than Australia’s 2018 chase against New Zealand – what is perhaps most impressive is that Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen saw South Africa over the line for a record T20I chase without even needing the final over. It was comfortably both sides’ highest-ever T20I total, and goodness knows what South Africa would’ve finished on if they had faced those final seven balls.


South Africa and West Indies collectively struck 35 sixes today, the most maximums hit in a T20I fixture. 11 were smashed by Johnson Charles – the seventh most in a single T20I innings – and a further 8 were contributed by Quinton de Kock. Kyle Mayers and Romario Shepherd hit four apiece, with Rovman Powell, Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw contributing two each to surpass the record, previously held by Bulgaria (33).


Johnson Charles bludgeoned a 39-ball century in the first act of this crazy match, besting the fastest T20I century by a West Indian, previously held by none other than Chris Gayle – when he reached three figures in 47 balls against England in 2016. Charles’ maiden T20I century, only his third in 223 T20 matches, featured 10 fours and 11 sixes as he smashed and scythed his way to 118 from just 46 deliveries.


With the Centurion crowd knowing fireworks were required if South Africa were to chase down such a target, Quinton de Kock delivered. In reaching his half-century from just 15 deliveries, he broke his own record for the fastest South African T20I fifty. His previous record stood at 17 deliveries, a devastating knock against England in Durban. The left-handed opener went on to hit 100 from 44 for his maiden international ton in the format.


With de Kock firing on all cylinders, Hendricks delivering from the other end and the players in maroon left scratching their heads, South Africa concluded the six-over Powerplay with the score at 102 without loss – another world record broken. West Indies had previously held the record, a 98-run Powerplay against Sri Lanka in 2021. The second over of the chase, bowled by Sheldon Cottrell, had a significant part to play in this – conceding 29 runs, with three sixes, two fours and two wides.


De Kock ticked his score over to 99 with a single at the end of the tenth over to take the score to 149-0, spelling the most runs ever scored during the first 10 overs of any men’s T20I. The required rate still lay at 11 an over – light work, apparently.


Largely thanks to the 35 sixes hit in the tie, but bolstered by 46 fours across the two innings, 394 runs were scored from boundaries, the most in a T20I.


A record that has surprisingly not been as well-documented the others listed here, Rovman Powell nearly wiped out two ball boys early on in South Africa’s chase. In fruitlessly chasing a de Kock strike down the ground, a barrelling Powell luckily sidestepped two ball boys, with his momentum seeing him clatter into the LED advertising boards beyond the boundary rope.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99