When local cricket fans hear the name Richard Levi, they give an ironic laugh.
The burly opener was supposed to be next best thing in South African one-day cricket when he smashed the Proteas’ fastest T20 century – a 45-ball effort against New Zealand in Hamilton in 2012.
Yet that was his only highlight as a national player and he was quickly labelled a one-trick pony afterwards.
Or so some critics felt.
The 29-year-old Levi has long made peace with his limitations as a player.
He’s a bully – and a devastating one too – of poor fast bowling in one-day cricket.
The stalwart of the Cape Cobras has a weakness against spin and a flawed technique to really make an impact against the red ball.
But he’s found a loving home at English county side Northamptonshire.
They also use him well in four-day matches, where he bats at No 6 or No 7 to hide his technique, to an extent.
On Monday, Levi reminded many observers of his brutal hitting.
He struck a brilliant 99 off just 79 balls, a knock that included 10 fours and four sixes.
What made his innings even more important was the context.
Northamptonshire and Derbyshire had both agreed to gift Derbyshire easy runs in order to set the Northants a target of 326 in 65 overs.
In four-day cricket that’s a difficult chase but all parties felt it gave the sides a fair chance to win.
Levi duly provided his team’s push.
Interestingly, another forgotten Protea – Rory Kleinveldt – hit the winning runs with one ball to spare.
— County Championship (@CountyChamp) April 17, 2017
Kleinveldt has become a cult hero at Northamptonshire.
He’s constantly criticised for his weight yet performs week in and week out for his county without seemingly having fitness issues.
His match-winning six was hit off Daryn Smit, who recently left the Dolphins after many years of service.