The rain-affected opening match of their One-Day International series between South Africa and West Indies was settled on a 61-run Duckworth-Lewis victory for the Proteas at Kingsmead, on Friday.
The West Indies team which was high on confidence following a 2-1 win in the Twenty20 series was effectively contained by what Protea captain AB De Villiers described as “mature bowling.” The bowling trio of Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir and Vernon Philander secured South Africa a 1-0 lead in the five-match sequence when they each bagged three wickets apiece as the tourists were shot out for 164 in 28.2 overs while pursuing a revised 226 in 32 overs.
Hashim Amla (66 off 66) became the fastest batsman ever to achieve 5 000 ODI runs when he partnered the skipper in a man-of-the-match performance of 81 run from 94 deliveries. South Africa posted 279 for eight in 48.2 overs before the near three-hour delay due to heavy rain storms.
AB De Villiers was pretty chuffed, even though by his own admission the Proteas were nowhere near perfect. South Africa had two areas of concern, namely the cluster of wickets lost for a few runs towards the end of their innings and the way the West Indies got their reply off to a flying as the Proteas struggled to contain Chris Gayle’s 24-ball blitz that saw him score 41.
The second match of the series takes place at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Sunday.