Rossouw rewrites record books
A jubilant Rilee Rossouw (Gallo Images)
Centurion - Record after record fell at Supersport Park on Thursday as Rilee Rossouw scored a mammoth 319 in the Supersport Series match between the Titans and the Diamond Eagles. At close of play on the first day, the Eagles had 502 for three.
Rossouw became the first person since Herschelle Gibbs in 1996/97 to score a century before lunch, but was not content with that. By tea, he had 225, and he reached 300 in the final session tea with a huge six off Jacques Rudolph.
He is the only player to score 300 in a day in South Africa, and the third South African, after Barry Richards and Graeme Smith to achieve this feat. He is also the youngest South African to score a triple century and the ninth youngest cricketer overall.
Rossouw and Dean Elgar passed the record partnership of 441 for any wicket in any first-class match in South Africa, set by Carl Bradfield and James Bryant, playing for Eastern Province against North West in Potchefstroom in 2002/03.
When their partnership was finally broken, with Rossouw caught by Mangaliso Mosehle off Hardus Viljoen, they had shared a second wicket stand of 480.
During their partnership, they both passed 1 000 runs for the season.
Rossouw has scored 1125 runs this season, passing the record total of 1089 set by Barry Richards.
Towards the end of his innings, a tiring Rossouw was struck on the hand on two occasions, and his end came when the ball struck him on the glove and looped to the keeper. He appeared to be in severe pain as he left the field, clutching right hand. Rossouw had been at the crease for five hours and 48 minutes, and faced 291 deliveries. He hit 47 boundaries and eight sixes.
It was a superb performance by Rossouw, who played some sublime off drives and cover drives. Until the end, he never appeared to be in any form of trouble, and the Titans used nine bowlers in their endeavours to get him out.
Elgar, who also batted exceptionally well, was totally overshadowed. He reached his ninth century off 166 balls, hitting 16 fours.
The Titans had cause to celebrate early in the day when Reeza Hendricks was caught behind by Mosehle off Basheer Walters in the third over of the match. Boeta Dippenaar failed to score before he was caught by Mosehle off Walters.
At close of play, Elgar was not out on 156 off 241 balls and CJ de Villiers had nine.