Johannesburg: Highveld Lions opener Quinton de Kock hit 126 runs on Sunday in a South African Twenty20 Challenge match - the highest score made in the country in the shortest form of the game.
His unbeaten 80-minute knock off 69 balls included 13 fours and six sixes and surpassed the 117 of Chris Gayle for the West Indies against South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg six years ago.
Johannesburg-born De Kock is a 20-year-old left-hand batsman-cum-wicketkeeper who made his T20 international debut at home to New Zealand two months ago and contributed an undefeated 28 toward an eight-wicket victory.
He has been bought for $20,000 (14,950 euros) by Indian Premier League outfit Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 2013 season, reportedly as a replacement wicketkeeper for Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara and Parthiv Patel.
Recently crowned provincial four-day champions Cape Cobras were the team at the receiving end of De Kock at Senwes Park in north-western university town Potchefstroom as the Lions surged to a nine-wicket opening-round triumph.
Charl Langeveldt (0-39), Rory Kleinveldt (0-34), Johann Louw (0-29) and Justin Ontong (0-27) suffered most as the Cobras bowlers proved no match for De Kock and fellow opener Gulam Bodi (40).
Wicketkeeper Dane Vilas (63 not out), Qassim Adams (43) and Richard Levi (40) were the chief contributors as the Cobras reached 183-5 in 20 overs and the Lions responded with 185-1 off 18.5 overs.
Warriors defeated Knights by eight wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method in another game after the competition opener between Dolphins and title-holders Titans in Durban Friday was washed out.
Story first published on: Monday, 18 February 2013 14:05 IST