Skipper, AB de Villiers led the with 81 off 94 © Getty Images
Skipper, AB de Villiers led the with 81 off 94 © Getty Images

Jan 16, 2015

South Africa scored 279 for eight in 48.2 overs before heavy rain interrupted play, forcing a 1.4-over early end to the innings. They got to the score, thanks to half-centuries by Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and David Miller. De Villiers scored 81 off 94 balls, Miller scored 70 off 68, while Amla scored a run-a-ball 62. South Africa didn’t have an ideal start to their innings as Rilee Rossouw and Faf du Plessis, got out on ducks leaving South Africa placed at 16 for two.

But de Villiers and Hashim Amla ensured that West Indies did not capitalise on that situation and steadies the ship with a 99-run partnership. Amla got to his fifty and reached the milestone of 5000 ODI runs, but was run-out soon after. De Villiers was then joined by David Miller. They stitched a 113-run partnership taking South Africa to an imposing 238 for three.

Miller however lost his wicket just before the 40th over, just when he was looking to take the scoring to a more explosive level. De Villiers followed him back to the hut soon after, leaving two unsettled batsmen to try and accelerate in the last 10 overs.

The South African batsmen, were unable to make most of the platform set up by de Villiers and David Miller. Farhaan Behardien got run out on 12, by Andre Russell. Behardien defended the ball and set off for a run with Russell bowling. Russell steamed in like lightening and got an accurate kick at the stumps before Behardien could even turn back. Shortly after that, Russell bowled a good short ball to dismiss JP Duminy, thus exposing the tail. Runs dried up for South Africa from there. In fact the 47th over ended up being a maiden.

The bowling started off very well, badly slacked off in the mid-overs, but came back hard towards the end. At one point South Africa, appeared set for even a 330 but a West Indian fightback, led by Russell saw them tied down for less than 280. Jerome Taylor was the man who led the effort up front, taking the wickets of du Plessis and Rossouw.

Whether this effort is sufficient for West Indies to start the series on a winning note is a tricky question. West Indies have explosive batsmen, but it must be remembered that they are also extremely inconsistent. But with rain likely to curtail their innings, West Indies will have better chance.

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Brief Scores

South Africa 279 for eight (AB de Villiers 81, David Miller 70; Jerome Taylor 2/50) vs West Indies