Windies plunder SA attack
Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan plundered an ordinary South African attack at Centurion on Sunday to win the fourth one day cricket international by seven wickets and keep the series alive.
Chasing the hosts’ imposing 297 for four, the Windies surged to 300 for three with 30 balls to spare.
Virtually written-off after being knocked over for 54 and 163 in successive matches, the Windies forced their way back into contention with an awe inspiring display of power batting.
While Chanderpaul initiated the initial run charge in making 92 from 75 balls, it was skipper Brian Lara who ensured that the match ended with such a flourish.
Lara made an undefeateed 59 from a mere 37 balls and put on 100 for the third wicket from 75 balls with Sarwan, who was not out on 79.
Required to bat at 5,9, Chris Gayle launched himself at Andre Nel, blasting the Easterns paceman for 38 in his first three overs.
At 200 for two in the 33rd over, South Africa was given a sniff of hope when Shaun Pollock returned, to have Chanderpaul caught behind.
The revival though was short-lived as Lara immediately began peppering the boundary ropes.
Jacques Kallis had earlier given the hosts an excellent chance of clinching the series with another masterful innings. Kallis, having made five centuries in five matches before missing out in Port Elizabeth, made 95 not out from 97 balls.
He put on 107 with Lance Klusener in 93 balls for the fifth wicket, the latter showing glimpses of his renowned savagery with the bat. The real fireworks though were provided by Kallis who played a sumptuous innings, mixing brutal power with classic cover drives.
Having thumped Gayle in the previous over for six over midwicket, Kallis needed a further six runs in the final over to move to his 12th century.
He would only manage one of those as Corey Collymore bowled a superbly tight line.
Klusener was undefeated on 41 from 38 balls.
Earlier, an out of sorts Herschelle Gibbs put on 53 for the first wicket with Graeme Smith.
Smith was denied a half century on his 23rd birthday when Gayle bowled him for 46 but by then he had put on another 55 with pinch hitter Robin Peterson for the second wicket.
Peterson made a brisk 36 before he was spectacularly caught at backward point by Gayle. - Sapa