AB de Villiers’ unbeaten 107 powered South Africa to a seven-wicket victory over the West Indies in a World Cup Group B match on Thursday.
South Africa’s Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir (4-41) dazzled on debut, sharing seven wickets with pace colleague Dale Steyn (3-24) to skittle out the West Indies for 222 in 47.3 overs.
The West Indies total was built around Darren Bravo’s assured 73 and a quick-fire 40 off 37 balls by his half-brother Dwayne before the twice champions lost their last five wickets for just 13 runs.
South Africa lost opener Hashim Amla in the fourth over and batting mainstay Jacques Kallis in the fifth, but de Villiers added 119 runs with skipper Graeme Smith (45) and got good support from JP Duminy (42 not out) down the order to overwhelm the target in 42.5 overs.
South Africa went into the match with a three-pronged spin attack and after winning the toss, Smith wasted precious little time in unleashing one of them, Johan Botha, in a move that is getting increasingly popular in the tournament.
Botha began with a bang, inducing an edge from danger man Chris Gayle’s tentative blade with his third delivery that flew to Kallis in the lone slip.
Darren Bravo and Devon Smith denied them another chance to celebrate until the 24th over.
Darren Bravo welcomed Kallis with a couple of boundaries in his first over and went on to hit six more to go with the six off Tahir before Botha trapped him lbw.
From 113-1, West Indies suddenly slumped to 120-4 with Tahir claiming Ramnaresh Sarwan and Devon Smith.
Dwayne Bravo continued to enhance the family reputation, taking the onus on himself to score at a brisk rate, hitting three sixes in his enterprising 37-ball knock that came to an end after an almighty mix-up with Shivnarine Chanderpaul (31).
West Indies could not make the most of the foundation and collapsed in a heap to fall well short of the 250-mark. — Reuters