South Africa sealed a stunning seven wicket victory against the West Indies in their opening match at the ICC Cricket World Cup.
AB de Villiers with his epic 107 (not out) and spinner Imran Tahir’s four wicket tally played a pivotal role in South Africa coasting to victory.
Proteas skipper Graeme Smith won the toss at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi and opted to field first.
The West Indies posted a total of 222 for 10 with Darren Bravo’s contribution of 73 and Devon Smith’s 36. Brother Dwayne Bravo also whacked a quick 37 of 40 balls.
Johan Botha captured the first West Indian wicket when Chris Gayle was dismissed in the first over and later on trapped Darren lbw.
Tahir’s first wicket in one-day internationals will no doubt be a memorable one; he caught Devon Smith off his own bowling. He went on to dismiss Ramnaresh Sarwanm, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Devon Thomas.
The Proteas’ wobbly start – losing Hashim Alma and Jacques Kallis in the space of five runs – quickly became a thing of the past with Graeme Smith and De Villiers taking the rein.
A ball from paceman Kemar Roach resulted in the back of Amla as he was caught by wicketkeeper Thomas.
Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn captured Kallis’s wicket while Smith was eventually dismissed for 45.
JP Duminy (42 not out) was responsible for hitting the winning run.
South Africa’s next match is on 3 March against the Netherlands. The Dutch side – made up of a few South African born players – in their opening match lost to England but not without a formidable fight.
De Villiers, deservedly so, was named man of the match. – BuaNews
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