Proteas too strong for UAE

Published: Thursday 12th March 2015 by The News Editor

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South Africa skipper AB de Villiers’ accomplished showing with bat and ball helped the Proteas to a 146-run World Cup victory over the United Arab Emirates in Wellington.

De Villiers underpinned South Africa’s innings with a sparkling 82-ball 99 as they reached 341 for six, before taking two for 15 from three overs as the UAE were bowled out for 195 in response with 15 balls remaining.

De Villiers surprisingly fell one run short of his century, but will take consolation from having smashed four sixes to take his total to 20 at this showpiece – the most at the tournament – and a record 36 in 21 World Cup matches overall.

The victory was as comfortable as the margin suggests for South Africa as the UAE slumped to a fifth defeat in as many World Cup games.

The Proteas, already through to the knockout phase, set the formidable target after being asked to bat first at Westpac Stadium.

De Villiers shared a 108-run fourth-wicket stand with David Miller, after Hashim Amla (12), Quinton de Kock (26) and Rilee Rossouw (43) had departed, and added a further 53 in partnership with JP Duminy.

Miller was dismissed one run short of his half-century at the start of the 37th over, bowled by Mohammad Naveed, who claimed figures of three for 63.

De Villiers had been let off the hook on 63 when he offered a caught-and-bowled chance trying to go down the ground to Amjad Javed, and looked set to notch his hundred only to slice a wide length ball from K amran Shazad straight to Javed at short third man.

His departure signalled the arrival of Farhaan Behardien, though, and his quick-fire 64 not out from just 31 deliveries kept the South African score racing along.

Duminy (23) became Naveed’s third victim when he was trapped lbw, but Behardien and Vernon Philander (10 not out) took the total past 300 in an unbroken 49-run seventh-wicket stand.

The UAE’s long-shot chances of chasing down that total were dealt a heavy blow as they slumped to 45 for three after just 12.3 overs.

Morne Morkel led the early charge for the Proteas, dismissing Andri Berenger (five) and Khurram Khan (12) as he took two for four from his first four overs, while Duminy claimed Amjad Ali’s (21) wicket in between.

Shaiman Anwar and Swapnil Patil put on 63 in a fourth-wicket stand that provided a brief respite, but when Anwar (39) sent Imran Tahir’s delivery straight to mid-wicket they began to tumble again.

Saqlain Haider (seven) replaced Anwar at the crease, but he only lasted three overs to become De Villiers’ first victim of the day, before Javed (five) followed suit soon after to leave the UAE on 125 for six with 15.4 overs left.

De Villiers rounded off his display with a simple catch as Naveed (17) top-edged Philander tamely to mid-wicket and the subsequent departures of Mohammad Tauqir (three) and Shazad (nought) meant the UAE fell short of completing their 50 overs.

Published: Thursday 12th March 2015 by The News Editor

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