Easy win!

— Windies defeat S/Africa behind Narine’s career-best six-for and Pollard’s brutal half century

A career-best 6-27 from off-spinner Sunil Narine and a brutal fifty from Kieron Pollard helped the West Indies draw first blood in the opening match of the 2016 Tri-Nations Day/Night 50 Over Series as they beat South Africa by four wickets last evening at the Providence National Stadium, Guyana.

Adjudged Man-of-the-match, Narine’s figures became the best bowling figures by a West Indian spinner in One Day Internationals (ODI).

In just 9.5 overs, he bettered his previous best of 5-27 made against New Zealand to limit the South Africans to 188 in 46.5 overs.

20160604backIt was a relatively simple chase for the home team despite a few scares, but they were led by a brutal run-a-ball 67 from Pollard, his first half century upon return to international cricket, which piloted the West Indies to 191-6 in 48.1 overs. South African spinners Imran Tahir (2-41) and left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso (3-40) bowled well for their team.

Left-hander Rilee Rossouw  had earlier top-scored with a gritty 61 from 83 balls with two boundaries, his fourth score of 50 or more against the Caribbean side while skipper AB de Villiers (31), Quinton de Kock (30), JP Duminy (23) and Hashim Amla (20) all made starts but failed to convert, after the South Africans batted first.

Johnson Charles (31) later got the West Indies going with three quick fours, two off Kyle Abbott and the third off Kagiso Rabada, edging both pacers through the vacant third man area. The opposition skipper then went to his secret weapon Tahir who immediately got the job done when he bowled Andre Fletcher for 11 with a googly.

The score quickly became 52-2 when the leg-spinner served up yet another googly which confused the right-handed Charles, seconds before it disturbed his stumps. Phangiso would then get into the action, picking up the big scalp of Marlon Samuels (00) who was given out leg before wicket to the left-arm spinner.

Wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin (10), scratched around for some 23 deliveries before hitting JP Duminy (1-12) straight into the hands of AB de Villiers at short extra-cover. Pollard announced himself at the crease with a booming six back over the bowler’s head before following up with back-to-back sixes off Phangiso over long-on.

When the 100 came up both batsmen were already in their respective 20’s.

Pollard continued his assault, this time smashing the 21 year-old Rabada for his fourth six. Things would go south again for the batting team when the left-handed Darren Bravo fell to Phangiso, lbw for 30.

Requiring 39 runs to win, Brathwaite, the T20 World Cup hero walked out to join forces with Pollard who brought up his half-century after facing just 45 balls. Phangiso would then pull things back when Brathwaite hit the left-arm spinner straight into the hands of Farhaan Behardien at long-on. With just four runs needed Holder finished the match with a four over extra cover as the West Indies got home with wickets and balls to spare.

Earlier the South Africans, after winning the toss, saw openers de Kock and Amla providing the team with a solid opening stand of 52. The wicket-keeper was elegant as usual, cracking six fours, most of which were timely in execution, while the more watchful Amla was keen to work the singles.

Both men were, however, sent back in quick succession after all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite (2-35), had the left-handed de Kock bowled for 30 while Narine’s introduction paid off when Amla was given out LWB to a good ball which he attempted to walk across the line and flick the delivery to leg.

Rossouw and his captain de Villiers were then tasked with repairing the innings after the departure of their openers. The pair brought up their half-century partnership while taking their team’s total past 100 at the half-way mark.

De Villiers was put down by Taylor who spilled a return catch from the right-hander during his follow through.

Attempting a similar push, de Villiers’ luck ran out and Taylor made up for his error a few overs before when he held onto another return catch by the right-handed batsman. Rossouw would then bring up his fifty off 74 balls with a single four, a hard-earned milestone for the left-hander.

Rossouw, who looked like he wanted three figures, found out that it was not meant to be falling victim to Narine, caught expertly by Brathwaite at first slip as Holder exhibited aggressive captaincy in keeping the slip in for the off-spinner. Narine would strike a few balls after this time pinning new batsman Farhaan Behardien for nought as the

score slipped to 150-6. Duminy was the next to go, bowled by the West Indies skipper for 23 as the visitors found it a bit difficult to launch an attack with under

10 overs remaining. The pugnacious all-rounder Morris fell lbw to Narine for 05 while Brathwaite made a mess of Abbott’s stumps when he bowled him for 09.

Rabada was left stranded on one after Narine mopped up the innings with the wickets of Phangiso, who played a nothing shot and was caught by Holder at mid-off and Tahir (00), who was another leg before victim.

West Indies will now turn their attention to the World Cup champs Australia in tomorrow’s game played at Providence.

South Africa innings
Q de Kock b Brathwaite                        30
H Amla lbw b Narine                              20
R Rossouw c Brathwaite b Narine         61
AB de Villiers* c & b Taylor                  31
JP Duminy b Holder                             23
F Behardien lbw b Narine                     00
C Morris lbw b Narine                             09
K Abbott b Brathwaite                           05
A Phangiso c Holder b Narine
K Rabada not out                                 01
I Tahir lbw b Narine                              00
Extras (lb 1, w 4)                                       5
Total (all out; 46.5 overs)                        188
Fall of wickets 1-52, 2-52, 3-130, 4-160, 5-160, 6-172, 7-181, 8-181,
9-185, 10-188
Bowling-  Narine 9.5 -0-27-6            2, Taylor 7-0-36-1, Holder
10-1-37-1, Brathwaite 8-0-35 -2, Benn 10-0-41-0, Pollard 2-0-11-0

West Indies innings
J Charles b Imran Tahir                             31
A Fletcher b Imran Tahir                           11
D Bravo lbw b Phangiso                        30
M Samuels lbw b Phangiso                        1
D Ramdin† c de Villiers b Duminy         10
K Pollard not out                                 67
C Brathwaite c Behardien b Phangiso    8
J Holder* not out                                 10
Extras: (lb 13, w 9, nb 1)                       23
Total: (6 wickets; 48.1 overs)               191
Fall of wickets: 1-37, 2-52, 3-53, 4-76, 5-150, 6-174
Bowling: Abbott 10-1-26-0, Rabada 9-1-34-0, Morris 7-0-22-0, Tahir
10-0-41-2, Phangiso 10-1-40-3, Duminy 1.1-0-12-1, Behardien 1-0-3-0

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