Heinrich Klaasen hit 174 off 83 balls to lead the Proteas to a 164-run win in the fourth ODI against Australia in Centurion on Friday.
Klaasen shared an extraordinary fifth wicket partnership of 222 off only 94 balls with David Miller (82*) as South Africa piled up 416-5, their fifth-highest total in ODIs, before bowling out Australia for 252.
“To be honest I can’t remember the last part of the innings. I’ll have to go back and watch it tonight,” Klaasen said.
He smashed 13 fours and 13 sixes before being caught on the boundary off the last ball of the innings.
“Some days guys have a day out,” said Australia captain Mitchell Marsh, who for the second game in a row was on the losing side after sending in the opposition.
“Klaasen was amazing. We got outplayed. Sometimes in international cricket you have to take your hat off.”
Alex Carey hit 99 off 77 balls for Australia and was last man out. Lungi Ngidi took 4-51 and Kagiso Rabada 3-41 for South Africa.
The Proteas’ win tied the series at two matches apiece, setting up a decider in Johannesburg on Sunday.
With the World Cup only three weeks away, Australia had a potentially serious injury concern when in-form opening batsman Travis Head had to retire hurt after being struck on the left hand by fast bowler Gerald Coetzee.
Australian team management announced that Head was due to go for a scan on Friday night with results not expected until Saturday.
A run spree of such magnitude did not seem likely as accurate Australian bowling and a slower than usual Centurion pitch saw South Africa make relatively slow progress on a ground known for high scoring.
At the second drinks break, the total was 157-3 off 32 overs.
The acceleration started during a stand of 74 off 57 balls between Rassie van der Dussen (62) and Klaasen.
It went into over-drive when the left-handed Miller joined Klaasen and hit the second ball he faced, from leg-spinner Adam Zampa, for six.
Zampa was hammered for 113 runs off his 10 overs, equalling the record for most runs conceded in a ODI set by fellow Australian Mick Lewis, also against South Africa, in Johannesburg in 2006.
Marcus Stoinis conceded 81 runs and Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Ellis went for 79 apiece. Michael Neser, playing his first match of the series, was the least expensive Australian bowler, taking 1-59.
© Agence France-Presse