JP Duminy scored a career-best 79 not out to guide South Africa to a six-wicket victory over West Indies on Sunday in the first game of their five-match one-day series.
South Africa won with 12 balls to spare after scoring 176 for four in reply to West Indies’ total of 175. Rain reduced the match to 36 overs a side.
Duminy’s score bettered the 60 he made against Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein last season.
Seamer Shaun Pollock led South Africa’s efficient bowling performance with a return of 1-19 from seven overs as West Indies, who were put into bat, were dismissed with a ball remaining in their innings.
South Africa wasted a chance to dismiss Sammy for 23 when substitute fielder Johan Botha dropped a catch at long-on after the batsman had lofted a full toss from paceman Albie Morkel.
Runako Morton, who scored 41, shared 69 runs with Sammy for the seventh wicket after West Indies had slumped to 81-6 in the 22nd over.
The stand was broken in the 34th over when Morton was run out by Pollock’s hard, flat throw from long-on to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.
West Indies endured an abysmal final over when Ravi Rampaul (2) and Sammy were run out, and Daren Powell (0) was bowled off his pads by fast bowler Dale Steyn.
South Africa lost openers Graeme Smith (1) and AB de Villiers (2) with just four runs on the board, but Jacques Kallis and Duminy steadied the innings with a partnership of 55.
Fast bowler Rampaul ended the stand in the 16th over when he had Kallis caught behind by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin for 24.
Duminy and Justin Ontong put on 59 for the fourth wicket before medium pacer Dwayne Bravo dived to take a return catch to dismiss Ontong for 23.
Boucher (26 not out) and Duminy took South Africa to victory with an unbroken stand of 58.
”The stand-out feature of JP’s knock was the way he controlled the innings,” coach Mickey Arthur told a news conference. ”The calmness and maturity JP and Justin showed in that partnership was brilliant.”
Diminy said: ”The younger players have to take some responsibility. It doesn’t mean just because we have a long batting order we should pass the buck.”
Captain Graeme Smith spend much of the match off the field after injuring his knee while fielding.
”He’s in a lot of pain and he has received treatment, but we’ll only know the extent of the injury tomorrow,” Arthur said. – Reuters