Cape Town - Cape Cobras opener Richard Levi was lavish in his praise of David Miller, claiming the Proteas power-hitter’s new world T20 record was “simply ridiculous”.
Miller overtook Levi on top of the leader board for the fastest T20 International century when the left-hander blasted 100 off only 35 balls against Bangladesh at Senwes Park on Sunday. Levi’s previous record mark came off 45 balls when he put New Zealand’s bowlers to the sword back in 2012.
“There have been a few guys who have got close over the years, but for Davey to better it by 10 balls? That’s simply ridiculous!” Levis said.
Miller banged seven fours and nine sixes during his 36-ball 101 not out. His second fifty came off just 13 balls.
But even though Miller’s pyrotechnics show included five maximums in a row off the helpless Mohammed Saifuddin, he could not better Levi’s record for the most sixes in a T20 innings. The 29-year-old still holds that distinction after sending the ball into the Seddon Park stands 13 times on that balmy evening in Hamilton.
“It would have been great for Davey to get six a row,” Levi chirped. “I have known him a long time, we were actually roommates on a tour in Ireland way back, so we’re good mates.
“It is great that another South African holds the record now. We’ve always known Davey can hit the ball a long way, but in the last year or so, he has just taken in to a new level. He is much more consistent now.”
Thank you to everyone for the kind messages.. Means a lot. Really enjoyed yesterdays innings. Great series win.!
Unfortunately for Proteas fans, the prospect of watching Levi and Miller pulverise international bowlers together is no longer an option. Levi does not qualify to represent the Proteas any longer as he holds a Kolpak contract with Northamptonshire, where he picked up four awards last season including the coveted Player of the Year and Players Player of the Year prizes.
It certainly was a hugely successful season for the burly opening batsman, especially after he received a blow to head from Worcestershire’s Josh Tongue midway through the season.
Levi was rushed to hospital midway where “precautionary tests” were done with him being diagnosed with “mild concussion”. The incident seemed to spur Levi on, though, as he returned to finish the first-class season with 734 runs.
“It was nice to contribute in the way that I did. I have never averaged above 40 in a first-class season, so around the 50-mark is hugely satisfying. The white-ball stuff kind of took care of itself because I was in such good four-day form.”
Levi will hope to continue to show form for the Cobras when the local T20 Challenge gets underway in a fortnight. Cobras coach Ashwell Prince has been reluctant to pick players who are ineligible to represent South Africa thus far this season, but Levi is hoping he will be called upon.
“You never know whether you are going to play until the team gets read out, but I have a good couple of chats with Ash since I got back from England. I am hoping to get a run, and will prepare in the best possible manner.”