He reached his half-century off just 16 balls to beat the previous best of Sanath Jayasuriya by 1 delivery and reached his century off only 31 balls to erase Corey Anderson's previous world best of 36 balls. In the process he enabled the Castle Lager Proteas to improve on the famous total of 438/9 with an imposing 439/2 which was only four runs short of the 443 scored by Sri Lanka against the Netherlands but which is nevertheless the highest total in a match involving two full member nations of the ICC.
His second-wicket partnership with Hashim Amla (192 off 67 balls) came at the incredible rate of 17.19 runs to the over. It was his 19th ODI century and he finished with 149 off 44 balls (9 fours and 16 sixes). His 16 sixes also equalled the world record number of hits out of the ground by Rohit Sharma.
De Villiers would be the first to acknowledge the contribution of both Amla and Rilee Rossouw who set the perfect platform for him with a South African record opening stand of 247 in 38.1 overs, improving on the previous best of 235 by Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs against India at Kochi in 2000.
The table was perfectly set for De Villiers and he wasted no time in uncorking the champagne. It hardly mattered where the West Indies bowlers delivered the ball; he had simply made his mind up where he was going to hit it regardless of line or length. As an exponent of the unorthodox he stands supreme in the modern game.
Amla made his 18th ODI century and went on to bat the full 50 overs, finishing unbeaten on 153 (142 balls, 14 fours). This was a career best, improving on his 150 against England at Southampton in 2012. It was typical of Amla that, while De Villiers dazzled anybody in the cricketing world who was privileged to watch him either in the stadium or on TV, he got on with the job in his own unassuming style. He was happy to play the singles to make the AB show possible.