South Africa opener Lizelle Lee scripted a series of new records as she smashed her first Twenty20 International century against Thailand at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on Friday. The Proteas won by a massive 113-run margin and stay on track for a place in the semi-finals.
The 27-year-old reached her ton in 59 balls, the fifth ton in the history of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to take South Africa to 195/3. This is the highest team total in the tournament’s history, with the Proteas breaking India’s record of 194/5, when Harmanpreet Kaur had fired a ton against New Zealand in the opener of the 2018 edition.
This is also the first time that there have been two centuries in one edition of Women’s World Cup, after England captain Heather Knight’s ton against the same opposition.
One of the most destructive batters in the women’s game, Lee came in without a half-century in nine international innings. But she took the Thai attack apart with her blistering innings with 88 of her 101 runs coming in boundaries. her 60-ball 101 had 16 fours and three sixes, including one over 80 meters.
Lee combined with a 131-run partnership with Sune Luus, which is their third T20I century stand. Only one pair - New Zealand’s Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates - has more in the format.
“Things haven’t gone my way since the New Zealand tour, so it was just good to get some runs on the board and get that confidence back,” said Lee after the match.
While this was her first international century, the batter is known for her tons in the format having reached the three-figure mark in both Women’s Big Bash League in Australia and the KIA Super League in England.
Her previous best in the format was 84 off 47 balls back in October 2019 when the Proteas won the only T20I match on their India tour. Her knock had helped her team win by a whopping margin of 105 runs.
The 27-year-old is practically veteran in the squad having made her international debut aged 21 and has played 72 T20Is for South Africa.
The South African has always been a hard-hitting batter and was going to be the cornerstone for South Africa in this World Cup given her T20 league experience in Australia.
In the 2019 edition of WBBL, she was the fifth-highest run-getter with 475 runs at an average of 46.53 for Melbourne Stars. Her exploits included a top score of 103 not out against Perth Scorchers.
In the 2018 Kia Super League final, Lee hit 104 off 58 balls and also has a 169 not out off just 84 balls against Mpumalanga in a provincial T20 match.