Hit-man Levi coming home

Batting sensation Richard Levi will return home from New Zealand this week, as originally planned, Cricket SA said on Tuesday.

Levi, 24, raced to a record century off 45 balls and smashed 13 sixes for his unbeaten 117, guiding South Africa to an eight-wicket win over the Black Caps in only his second international match in Hamilton on Sunday.

South Africa's Richard Levi hit a 117 off just 51 balls. Credit: AP

Convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson said the opener would not stay on after calls for Levi to be included in the ODI squad.

“Levi's batting performance was fantastic – one of the best I have watched,” Hudson said.

“We hope that he can continue in the same way for the Cape Cobras in the T20 Challenge back home.

“He is an exciting prospect for us and he will be monitored and nurtured accordingly. His time will come.”

Levi would return home with seam bowler Rusty Theron and top-order batsman Colin Ingram, CSA said, after the deciding T20 International in Auckland on Wednesday.

Former captain Graeme Smith, pace bowler Dale Steyn, and all-rounders Jacques Kallis and Faf du Plessis had already linked up with the ODI squad.

“We are delighted with the way the T20I squad has progressed throughout this series and it is exciting to see the momentum that is being built for the remainder of the series,” Hudson said.

“It has been encouraging to see how the youngsters like Richard (Levi) and Marchant (de Lange) have stepped up to the challenges of international cricket, ahead of a very important year for the squad.”

South Africa face New Zealand in the first of three ODIs in Wellington on Saturday.

SA ODI squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla (vice-captain), Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe. – Sapa

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