South Africa 259 for 4 (De Kock 100, Hendricks 68, Powell 1-27) beat West Indies 258 for 5 (Charles 118, Mayers 51, Jansen 3-52) by six wickets
Quinton de Kock's first T20I hundred - and joint sixth-fastest in the format off 43 balls - helped South Africa complete the highest successful chase in T20Is. De Kock's knock innings came in the second half of a run-fest on a belter of a pitch at SuperSport Park.
In total, 517 runs were scored, the most in a T20 game, including 35 sixes, the most in a T20 international and two fewer than the most in any T20 match.
Johnson Charles was responsible for 11 of those sixes as he blasted his way to the joint second-fastest T20I century, and fastest by a West Indian, as they posted their highest score in the format. In the end, it was not enough.
It was a tough day for bowlers on both sides, who struggled to get their lengths right. Only Kagiso Rabada conceded at under ten runs an over and there were poor disciplines on both sides, especially by West Indies. They bowled 10 wides and a no-ball compared to South Africa's four wides and may see that as an important difference in the final result.
The series decider will be played about 40 kilometres away, at the Wanderers, on Tuesday.
Charles and Mayers do a demolition job
The early dismissal of Brandon King dissolved into a footnote when Kyle Mayers and Charles got together for an exhibition of power-hitting that dismantled the home attack. Marco Jansen's opening over cost 20, as Charles peppered the off side and Sisanda Magala's first over went for 21 runs thanks to a merciless Mayers. He hit the biggest six of the innings when he sent Sisanda Magala 114 metres over midwicket, with the ball carrying over the hospitality suite roofs and into the practice nets. Charles brought up his fifty off 23 balls when he hit Tabraiz Shamsi over square leg, Mayers followed with a 24-ball fifty, and also brought his milestone up against Shamsi.
West Indies were 62 for1 after the powerplay and 137 for 1 after the first 10 overs, which was their fastest start in a T20I. The openers were separated at the start of the 11th over, when Mayers miscued a pull off Jansen but by then, they had shared the third-highest stand for West Indies in T20I cricket - and all three of them have come against South Africa - and plundered 135 runs in 58 balls at a scoring rate of just under 14 runs an over.
The carnage continues
Charles was 18 runs away from his century when both Mayers and Nicholas Pooran fell to Jansen but he was undeterred. He sent Kagiso Rabada for six over square leg, then hit a Magala full toss over point for four and reached his century with a drive over extra-cover. Jansen was brought back and Charles sent him for sixes over extra-cover and long-off and then four through fine leg before he was bowled by a yorker that he seemed to have kept out but trickled onto his stumps. Charles scored 73 of his 118 runs on the leg side, including eight of his 11 sixes, and when he was bowled, West Indies still had six overs to bat.
Shepherding the finish
Romario Shepherd picked up from where Charles' left off when he flicked a Parnell full toss off his pads for his first boundary. Then he tucked into Magala and took two sixes off his third over, prompting Aiden Markram to bring Rabada back. He wasn't spared either as Shepherd and Rovman Powell hit 18 runs of his final over. Magala returned to deliver the last over and could not find his yorker. His full tosses were slammed over midwicket and long-on as West Indies scored 79 runs off the last six overs. Shepherd was unbeaten on 41 off 18 balls and Magala ended with the sixth most-expensive T20I figures.
De Kock and SA break records
There's probably no better batter to get a record chase underway than de Kock and he responded in exactly the way South Africa would have wanted. He started with consecutive fours off Akeal Hosein before slamming three successive sixes off Sheldon Cottrell in an over that cost 29. De Kock was then dropped on 32, when he tried to reverse-sweep Hosein and got a thin edge but Nicholas Pooran could not hold on, and he went on to make West Indies pay. In that over, South Africa equalled the quickest fifty by a Full Member team in T20Is and de Kock hit Hosein back over his head for six and then for back-to-back fours.
De Kock then notched up South Africa's fastest T20I fifty, off 15 balls. In the process, South Africa broke the record for the most runs by a Full Member team in a powerplay - 102 - and the fastest hundred by a Full Member in T20Is. They went on to score the most runs in the first 10 overs of a men's T20I - 149 - and the 152-run stand between de Kock and Reeza Hendricks was South Africa's fourth-highest of all time. De Kock brought up his hundred in the 11th over with a single.
Hendricks helps himself
With 46 runs off 21 balls in the first-wicket stand it would seem unfair to call Hendricks' role merely a supporting act and he soon had the chance to take centre stage. After de Kock's dismissal, Hendricks scored his first six when he sent Odean Smith over extra-cover and brought up his half-century off 22 balls. It was his fifth fifty in his last seven T20I innings and he was intent on moving through the gears from there. He scored 16 runs off the next five balls he faced including a scoop for six off Powell before he top-edged a slower bouncer and was caught behind. South Africa still needed 66 runs off 44 balls at that stage.
Markram and Klaasen take it home
West Indies pulled things back a touch after seeing the back of Hendricks. There were only two boundaries between the 14th and 16th over and David Miller was caught on the long-off boundary before Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen came together to finish things off. Markram destroyed Raymon Reifer's figures when he scored 17 runs off his fourth over, including a six over long-on, and Klaasen took successive fours off Jason Holder to take the asking rate to less than a run a ball. South Africa won with seven deliveries to spare.