Rilee Rossouw was studying at the feet of the master to great effect as he and Hashim Amla gave South Africa a record-breaking start in the second Momentum One-Day International against the West Indies at the Wanderers on Sunday.
South Africa had been sent in to bat in cloudy, cool conditions and they overcame the early new-ball tests as Amla and Rossouw launched them to 142 without loss after 25 overs.
The stand has put the Proteas’ newest ODI opening pair into the record books as the best first-wicket partnership for South Africa against the West Indies, beating the 131 Graeme Smith and Boeta Dippenaar put on in Kingston in 2004/05.
Amla was in prime form from the start, breezing to a 58-ball half-century as he drove and hooked his way to five boundaries, punishing the slightest errors in length by the West Indian bowlers.
Rossouw, who made his fifth duck in 10 innings in the first ODI in Durban, struggled at the start but hung in there and some inspired strokeplay later on in his innings saw him go to a career-best 62 not out.
While Amla always looked in control going to 72 not out off 76 balls, Rossouw had several miscues and was fortunate to survive on 31 when umpire Adrian Holdstock gave him out lbw trying to paddle-sweep left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn.
Rossouw immediately reviewed the decision and, although Snickometer showed no obvious contact with the bat, third umpire Sundaram Ravi overturned the decision leaving Big Benn as gloomy as the weather in London.