Andre Russell sealed the match for West Indies in the closing minutes © IANS
Andre Russell sealed the match for West Indies in the closing minutes © IANS

Port Elizabeth: Andre Russell, the hero of the fourth One-day International (ODI), has praised the team effort which gave the West Indies their first victory of the five-match series against South Africa.

The Caribbean side beat South Africa by a single wicket with nine balls to spare at St. George’s Park here Sunday night, with Russell blasting an unbeaten 64 from 40 balls, reports CMC.Vice-captain Marlon Samuels stroked a top score of 68 and Darren Sammy, 51, and Russell was quick to point to their contributions as critical to the outcome.

“After the game I gave each of them a big hug. The way they set the game up, even the small innings at the back end really counted because (Carlos) Brathwaite and Jason (Holder) – they all applied themselves,” said Russell.

“The rotation (of strike) was there and they got a few boundaries and took the pressure off me. Even (Sheldon) Cottrell giving me that single first ball up [in the 48th over], I thought that was very good. The next two balls I got sixes and that changed the game completely so everyone played a big part.”

South Africa posted 262 for eight off their 50 overs after they were sent in, with David Miller leading with an unbeaten 130. The West Indies were then struggling at 73 for five before Samuels and Sammy put on 90 for the sixth wicket to turn the innings around. Captain Holder made 13 and Brathwaite, 11, but when they were dismissed, the West Indies were still 24 runs adrift of victory at 239 for nine.However, Russell smashed two sixes in the 48th over and finished off the game in the penultimate over with a four and a six off pacer Kyle Abbott.

“I was confident. I know that once I bring it right down the wire I can get over the line because I back myself to get 15, even off the last over,” Russell said.

“Overall I thank God for this victory because just before practice or just before a game, we pray and ask God to help us to come out victorious and it happened today, so I just want to tell God thanks and well done to the guys,” he said.