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Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir Spellbinding Performances against West Indies Help South Africa Taste Bonus-Point Victory

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Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir Spellbinding Performances against West Indies Help South Africa Taste Bonus-Point Victory

June 17
06:38 2016

devNew Delhi, Friday, June 17 – West Indies did not think of losing so badly at the hands of South Africa especially post defeating Australia in the previous match by four wickets. At Warner Park in Basseterre, St Kitts, on June 15, Jason Holder-led side included Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Sulieman Benn and Jerome Taylor. Those in extras were Shannon Gabriel, Ashley Nurse and Jonathan Carter.

South Africa Playing XI needed to win and wicket keeper batsman Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi and Farhaan Behardien arrived on the crease with the motto to get a sound win in pocket. And, what an excellent way to pull off? The players on bench were Morne Morkel, Aaron Phangiso, Kyle Abbott and Dean Elgar. With a seating capacity of more than 8,000, the stadium looked occupied. The good figures were thanks to West Indies play against Proteas.

Likelihood of a great contest was high since both teams being capable of getting success in their motto, which was nothing else but to get victory. West Indies won the toss and decided to bowl without having any idea how they are going to be punished by some excellent batting by South African players, who were successful in getting a wonderful start as a result of spellbinding play by the opening duo. The host eyed an early wicket when Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock arrived on the crease but they got first breakthrough in the beginning of 34th over. Up till that the home side did a lot of running in different directions of the ground since the opening batsmen hit fours in all possible corners.

Hashim Amla’s brilliant knock of 110 runs off 99 balls comprised 13 boundaries, giving no clue to the opponents which length to ball that could send Amla back to the dressing room. To crack this mystery, West Indies took more than a few minutes. The moment Pollard was asked to deliver an over, the 33-year-old Amla gave an easy catch to Narine. But the key thing was the fact that he did his bit. Left-handed batsman de Kock was dismissed in the next over by Jerome Taylor. The young South African player played a knock of 71 facing 103 balls. His innings included six boundaries. He made sure to run for singles and convert those into twos whenever possible by placing the ball into the gaps.

The foundation for totalling a humongous score was already set. Now, it was on the new players on the pitch to convert that into reality by putting forward some amazing play. Chris Morris and Faf du Plessis helped Proteas increase the pace of getting runs. Morris, on one hand, scored 40 runs off 26 balls, together with a couple of fours and sixes. His innings with a strike rate of 153.85 lent a hand to the team continue moving at the path of putting a giant total on the scoreboard.

His dismissal by Brathwaite  made AB de Villiers take charge. The South African captain threw his wicket to Pollard but played an innings of 27 runs in 19 balls, together with a four and two biggies. Faf du Plessis was not out at 73 runs in 50 balls, including six 4s and two biggies, whereas, Jean-Paul Duminy was not out at 10 runs, which consisted of a six as well. 52 runs were scored in the mandatory powerplay from 0.1 to 10 overs. From the loss of just four wickets, 343 runs were totalled by South African squad. Behardien, Parnell, Rabada, Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi did not get their turn to bat as job was already done by top and middle order players.

Holder tried six bowling options, including himself but except Jerome Taylor & Carlos Brathwaite, who got one wicket apiece, and Kieron Pollard, who earned two wickets, none other was able to put any sort of pressure on the rivals. Jason Holder, Sunil Narine and Sulieman Benn strove for wickets and their wait never come to an end. A terrific partnership was required for West Indies to keep them on track and think of being victorious in the last part. Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles tried to keep the momentum up but run rate was yet not high that could have led them play without any pressure. Tahir brought first wicket for South Africa, dismissing Fletcher when he was batting at a score of 21 (4 x 3).

Johnson Charles’ catch was caught by du Plessis in Tabraiz Shamsi’s over. With seven 4s and a six, 49 runs were scored by the opener. Had he been on the crease for some more overs, possibility of seeing West Indies on a robust side would have been strong. Third jolt was felt a little bit early than expected for the reason that Darren Bravo succumbed to Parnell post scoring 11 runs of 19 deliveries. He struck a four as well but couldn’t manage to turn the need of a bigger partnership into reality. Denesh Ramdin, the West Indies wicket keeper, before being dismissed by Tabraiz Shamsi, he pocketed 11 runs with a strike rate of 61.11. The batsman did not succeed in playing a big knock, helping the opponents to gain ground in the game.

The next man to lose his wicket was Marlon Samuels post failing to read a ball by Tahir. 24 runs off 30 balls from him comprised a six and four. With each falling wicket, it was getting clear that the stress to get as much near to the target as possible has built. To understand about exhibition of some great bowling by Proteas can be understood with the fact that Kieron Pollard faced 34 balls to get 20 runs. Tahir had his hands behind his dismissal that let South Africa smell the victory, which was very near. Jason Holder was given legs before wicket in Tahir’s over. His short stint of 19 runs included a four too.

Carlos Brathwaite was out for a duck when Tahir was on fire. Sulieman Benn was back to the pavilion without adding any run in the team’s total score. He was dismissed by Tahir at a zero too, making things get worse. Jerome Taylor (16 runs off 11  balls) showed some batting skills by hitting a couple of fours and a six but had no answer for a fantastic delivery by Tahir. Sunil Narine was not out at 18 runs. Best was to see him sending the ball towards the boundary thrice.  de Villiers went with five bowler strategy that worked for the entire team as Imran Tahir picked up seven wickets for 45, bowling 9 overs. Tabraiz Shamsi got a couple of wickets, while Wayne Parnell got a wicket. Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris did not get any wicket but that did not matter in the end as South African won the match with a bonus point.

West Indies faced humiliating defeat by 139 runs despite the fact that 74 runs were pocketed by them in mandatory powerplay. Tahir was declared Man of the Match for not letting West Indies gain grip at any point of time. The host was all-out for 204. From the bottom, they have jumped to the top with 10 points in four matches. An interesting match between South Africa and Australia is to be played on Sunday, June 19. A triumph will be eyed by each team since just three matches are to be held before the grand finale. Australia, West Indies and Proteas are to play two matches each. The top two in the points table will be able to qualify for the last Final, which is to be hosted at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown in Barbados.

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