Potchefstroom - Opening batsman Quinton de Kock smashed his maiden career century as the Highveld Lions coasted to a nine-wicket win over the Cape Cobras in their opening match of the T20 Challenge here on Sunday.
De Kock, 20, made an unbeaten 126 off only 69 balls, including 13 fours and six sixes, as the Lions made 185 for one to reach their target with seven deliveries to spare.
His knock was the highest score in a T20 match in South Africa, at all levels of the game, surpassing the 117 made by Chris Gayle of the West Indies against South Africa at the Wanderers in September 2007.
Fellow opener Gulam Bodi played an initial supporting role in the chase, contributing 40 at a run a ball to put the hosts on the front foot.
He was eventually removed by spinner Dane Piedt in the 15th over, and Dwaine Pretorius added nine runs to help carry the Lions across the line.
Earlier, Vilas shared valuable partnerships with opener Richard Levi and Qaasim Adams, paving the way to a respectable total of 183 for five for the visitors after they lost the toss and were sent in to bat.
Vilas, who made an unbeaten 63, combined in a 39-run stand with Levi, who hit 40 runs before spinner Aaron Phangiso had him trapped leg before wicket in the eighth over.
He went on to share 70 runs with Adams, who smashed a career best 43 off 22 balls before Sohail Tanvir had him caught by Pretorius in the last over of the innings.
Phangiso, who removed Levi and Owais Shah with successive deliveries, took three for 31 to lead the Lions attack.
Highveld Lions: Gulam Bodi, Quinton de Kock, Neil McKenzie, Temba Bavuma, Jean Symes (captain), Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Sohail Tanvir, Hardus Viljoen, Aaron Phangiso, Imran Tahir.
Cobras: Richard Levi, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas, Owais Shah, Justin Ontong (captain), Qaasim Adams, Rory Kleinveldt, Johann Louw, Dane Piedt, Charl Langeveldt, Lizaad Williams.