AB de Villiers led from the front with a calculated 81 © Getty Images
AB de Villiers led from the front with a calculated 81 © Getty Images

Jan 17, 2015

The South African team started the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series against West Indies on a winning note, beating them by 61 runs in a rain curtailed match. West Indies were required to chase a target of 226 in 33 overs in response to South Africa’s 279 by Duckworth Lewis calculations. But West Indies were skittled for 164 in 28.2 overs.

Not a single West Indian batsman managed to get to a half-century. Chris Gayle was the closest to getting one, but got dismissed nine short, playing 24 deliveries. Denesh Ramdin, was the next highest run-scorer with 31 off 32 balls. The West Indian performance with the bat was a disgrace apart from that.

The South African bowlers did a great job. Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Imran Tahir picked three wickets apiece. Steyn got the all important wicket of Gayle. Tahir and Philander chipped in with crucial wickets in the middle overs, before Steyn came back to clean the tail.

The South African batting effort went through three distinct phases. The first phase saw opener and number three batsmen fall for ducks leaving South Africa precariously placed at 16 for two. The second phase was about three half centuries which came from the willows of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and David Miller. In the third phase, South Africa gave away a flurry of wickets being reduced to 238 for three to 279 for eight in 48.2 overs before rain came pouring down.

It wasn’t by far the ideal start for Jason Holder as ODI skipper and with the ICC World Cup 2015 looming large, he’ll want to correct things in the team fast. De Villiers will want to exploit West Indies’ recent struggles and may be eyeing a 5-0 whitewash.

Brief scores:

South Africa 279 for 8 in 48.2 overs (AB de Villiers 81, David Miller 70; Jerome Taylor 2 for 50) beat West Indies 164 in 18.2 overs (Chris Gayle 41; Dale Steyn 3 for 27) by 61 runs (D/L method).

Man of the Match: AB de Villiers.

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