NORTH SOUND/ANTIGUA & BARBUDA: Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers scored hundreds as South Africa defeated West Indies by 66 runs in their rain-affected One-Day International (ODI) to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
The pair added 129 runs for the third wicket as Amla anchored the top half of the South African batting with 102 from 109 balls, and de Villiers kept the momentum going with the same score from 101 balls. The Proteas, put in to bat, reached 280 for seven from their rain-reduced 48 overs on a slow Vivian Richards Cricket Ground pitch before dismissing the hosts for 215.
In the process, Amla also reached 1,000 ODI runs when he reached 31, playing his 25th match, and became the joint fifth quickest to reach the milestone. Morne Morkel was the most successful South African bowler with three wickets for 40 runs from eight overs, while Dale Steyn, Ryan McLaren, and Johan Botha picked up two wickets apiece. South Africa captain Graeme Smith was a pleased man. “We want to have a very successful tour of the Caribbean. We have a lot of bouncing back to do, following the World Twenty20, and we want to do it well.
This is just the first match, and the matches are very close to each other, so recovery is going to be important to us being successful.” West Indies captain Chris Gayle, whose 45 from 39 balls was his team’s top score, felt let down by his side’s batting again. “It’s one of those things that we can’t seem to catch a break with our batting, so we will have to go back to the drawing board. “We’re not going to give-up [but] we know that we are not playing good cricket now.”
Published in the Express Tribune, May 24th, 2010
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