De Villiers stars in crushing win

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Another awe-inspiring batting display from AB de Villiers helped South Africa to a crushing 257-run World Cup Group B victory against West Indies in Sydney.

De Villiers needed only 31 balls against West Indies to record the fastest ever one-day international century in January, and tormented their bowlers once again by smashing an unbeaten 162 from 66 balls to help South Africa to 408 for five from their 50 overs – their highest-ever World Cup score.

West Indies could only manage 151 all out in reply, with their final eight wickets falling for just 99 runs, as Imran Tahir (five for 45) helped South Africa record the joint highest margin of victory, for teams batting first, in World Cup history.

Plenty of questions had been asked about South Africa’s World Cup pedigree after they slumped to a 130-run defeat to reigning champions India on Sunday and openers Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla set about giving the Proteas a solid start.

De Kock clubbed Jerome Taylor to the ropes twice in the first over but was back in the pavilion in the sixth having made just 12 when he attempted to cut Jason Holder for another boundary and succeeded only in finding Andre Russell at cover.

Amla (65) and Faf du Plessis (62) showed plenty of flair in compiling a second-wicket partnership of 127 runs from 23.4 overs but, after both passed fifty, Chris Gayle removed them in the 30th over to restrict South Africa to 146 for three.

Amla’s dismissal brought De Villiers to the crease but the in-form middle order batsman was happy to initially play second fiddle as Rilee Rossouw hit Darren Sammy for successive fours in the 33rd over and Taylor for three fours in the 37th, before clubbing the latter for six to reach his second ODI half-century.

Inspired by his partner’s dominant display, De Villiers also went on the attack, dispatching Sulieman Benn for a six-four-four to also pass the fifty mark at the end of the 40th over as South Africa moved on to 258 for three.

Rossouw fell at the start of the 43rd over when he edged Russell behind to depart for 61 from 39 deliveries and, after David Miller became Russell’s second victim in the 47th, De Villiers notched his century from just 52 balls – the second fastest in World Cup history – in the following over by smashing Holder over the ropes for his third maximum.

De Villiers dispatched Holder for a further three fours and a six as the eight-ball over cost the West Indies a staggering 34 runs.

South Africa had reached 378 by the time Holder came to the crease to bowl the final over and, after De Villiers slogged his first delivery to long-on for two runs, De Villiers clobbered the pace bowler for two sixes, a four and then two further sixes to propel his score past 150 and South Africa’s past 400.

West Indies’ run chase seemed doomed from the start when Kyle Abbott bowled star-man Gayle in the second over and then tricked Marlon Samuel into edging behind for a nine-ball duck two overs later as they slumped to 16 for two.

West Indies were three down in the 11th over when Jonathan Carter departed for 10 after mis-timing to cover as Morne Morkel got in on the wicket-taking act.

Opener Dwayne Smith had offered some resistance at the top of the order, making 31 from 34 balls, but he was the fourth West Indian batsman dismissed, with no further score, when Miller took a fantastic one-handed catch in the deep to give Tahir his first wicket.

One run and five balls later, Lendl Simmons was pinned lbw by Tahir for a two-ball no score to become the fifth West Indies dismissal, and they were seven down with just 63 on the board when the leg-spinner snared Sammy and Russell in the 18th over.

Denesh Ramdin and Holder shared 45 runs for the eight wicket, but Tahir broke their resistance in the 26th over by bowling the former to register his first-ever ODI five-wicket haul as the WIndies teetered on the brink of a humiliating defeat on 108 for eight.

Captain Holder provided some late resistance to delay the inevitable, scoring a 44-ball half-century, but the game was up when he skewed Dale Steyn to mid-on upon reaching 56 to leave West Indies down and almost out on 150 for nine.

South Africa clinched victory moments later when Benn edged Morkel to Amla in the slip cordon to become the sixth West Indies batsman to register single digits.

Published: Friday 27th February 2015 by The News Editor

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