Levi sets records as SA hammer New Zealand

Opening batsman Richard Levi took advantage of the small boundaries at Seddon Park to blast a world record 13 sixes and guide South Africa to an eight wicket win over New Zealand to level their Twenty20 series in Hamilton on Sunday.

Levi, who only made his debut on Friday in Wellington, also brought up the fastest international Twenty20 century off 45 balls as he scored 117 not out to help the visitors chase down New Zealand’s 173 for four with four overs to spare.

The powerfully-built Levi was brutal to a wayward New Zealand attack who bowled into his arc allowing him to smash the ball across the ropes from mid-off around to deep backward square-leg.

Captain AB de Villiers (39 not out) simply ticked the strike over to the 24-year-old who wasted little time in bringing up his century when he pushed the ball into the covers for a rare single.

West Indies opener Chris Gayle had held the previous record for sixes in a Twenty20 international with 10, while Gayle and Brendon McCullum had shared the record for fastest century. Both had achieved the mark in 50 balls.

Martin Guptill top-scored for New Zealand with 47 from 35 balls though the South Africans would be pleased to have stopped him passing 50.

The 25-year-old Guptill had plundered the much weaker Zimbabwean attack in the first series of New Zealand’s summer, scoring 51 in the only test, 232 runs at 77.33 in the three one-day internationals before he smashed 91 not out in his only Twenty20 appearance.

He made 78 not out in the first Twenty20 against South Africa in Wellington on Friday.

South African offspinner Johan Botha was the pick of the visitors’ attack on Sunday as he mixed the speed, width and loop on his deliveries to finish with one for 22 from four overs.

The final match of the Twenty20 series is on Wednesday at Eden Park in Auckland.—Reuters

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