(Reuters) – South Africa scraped into the Champions Trophy semi-finals after their Group B match against West Indies in Cardiff on Friday was declared a tie on the Duckworth-Lewis method for determining rain-affected matches.
West Indies, who were 190 for six off 26.1 overs chasing a target of 231 in 31 overs when the game was abandoned, would have been declared the winners had Kieron Pollard not been dismissed off what turned out to be the final delivery.
If Pollard had kept his wicket intact, West Indies would have been the winners and advanced along with India from Group B.
West Indies and South Africa finished the group stages on three points. With Pakistan already eliminated, South Africa got the second semi-final spot because of their superior net run rate.
Marlon Samuels gave West Indies real hope when he blazed 48 off 38 balls with two sixes after opener Chris Gayle had failed for the third time to convert a good start into a big score.
After hitting JP Duminy into the stands for a six, Gayle guided a tame catch to point and was out for 36.
South Africa welcomed back leading paceman Dale Steyn, who missed the first two matches because of injury, and he bowled with venomous pace and intent.
Steyn dropped a hard caught-and-bowled chance to his left hand when Gayle had scored six. Johnson Charles then received a life on 10 when Duminy dropped a much easier offering at short mid-wicket.
Devon Smith stroked an elegant 30 before he was lbw to left-arm spinner Robin Peterson after an appeal to the third umpire by the South African side when the left-hander was originally given not out.
Colin Ingram, the only South African to score a century on his debut in one-day internationals, earlier top-scored with 73 from 63 balls after West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo had won the toss and elected to field.
Ingram drove West Indies’ most potent one-day bowler Sunil Narine out of the ground and hit another six off Darren Sammy with a similar shot over long-on.
He put on 80 for the first wicket with Hashim Amla who was caught at cover by Gayle off Samuels for 23 in the 13th over.
Gayle juggled with the catch twice before finally securing the ball in his left hand.
Ingram used his feet adroitly, moving into the drive and stepping back to cut into the gaps, reaching his half-century from 46 balls.
He was out caught in the deep off Pollard’s medium pace, mistiming a lofted on-drive. Duminy fell shortly after for two, caught behind off Bravo trying to swing the ball to leg.
Captain AB de Villiers, promoting himself to number three in the order, top-edged a hook off Tino Best for six on his way to 37 from 26 balls before he was brilliantly caught at mid-wicket by Darren Bravo leaping to his right off Ravi Rampaul.
David Miller (38) kept up the pressure on West Indies, slapping a low drive off Narine over the long-on boundary for the fourth sixth of the innings.
He hit two further sixes over the short boundaries while Faf du Plessis (35) and Ryan McLaren (seven not out) hit one apiece.