South Africa canter to win

South Africa eased to an 84 run victory over a West Indies side lacking in belief, intent and for the majority of the game were quite simply outplayed.

If they can take heart it is more from the bowling department than the batting, by restricting the home side to 255-9 off their 50 overs when a total much closer to 300 seemed inevitable. That was generally thanks to Jerome Taylor who bowled with pace, accuracy and a clever use of his slower deliveries meaning his figures read impressively, 10-1-34-4. He had returned to the side in place of Daren Powell.

Graeme Smith top scored with a well played 86 and J.P. Duminy made his second half century in the two ODI’s so far, producing a thoughtful 68 and is now beginning to show the reason why the management have placed such faith in him.

The unlikely bowling duo of Marlon Samuels and Sewnarine Chattergoon kept a lid on things during the middle phase of the innings (overs 25-40) with Smith and Duminy deciding to set a base rather than attack the part-time spin offerings of the West Indians. It could have been costly, against a side better equipped to chase down a handy total, but West Indies feeble reply never got going and had it not been for a typically determined effort from Shiv Chanderpaul (54), the margin of defeat could have been much worse for Dwayne Bravo’s side.

Graeme Smith won the toss on a brilliant sunny afternoon and elected for his side to have first crack at batting on a pitch that looked as though it may encourage the batters rather than the bowlers.

Doubts must have crept in following his decision when Jerome Taylor removed Herschelle Gibbs, who at the moment does not look like the imperious one-day figure of times gone by, and Jacques Kallis, who perished tamely when driving aerially to Chanderpaul at mid-off.

AB De Villiers joined his captain in the middle and the innings began to take shape. Initially they were both watchful, aware of the cautious predicament they were in, yet in one over from Ravi Rampaul, De Villiers was able to break the shackles and plunder the Trinidadian’s first over for 18. It did not get much better for Rampaul, his three overs ultimately costing 33 runs and leaving Bravo with seven overs to find from one or a combination of his part-timers.

Chattergoon filled the role by bowling seven overs of rather uneventful leg spin and the fact he only went for 30 runs was testament to his discipline.

Smith gradually got going and began to find the gaps in the field, his leg side play is generally in good shape, as too today was his driving through the extra cover region. De Villiers was quick to pounce on anything short, the pitch ensured the ball sat up and waited to be smashed in front of mid wicket.

There were not too many fireworks towards the end of the innings, brief flurries from the likes of Mark Boucher and Shaun Pollock, but nothing substantial enough to take the game away from West Indies. Against a stronger batting unit, South Africa may have cursed the dull periods where a more proactive mindset may have taken their total closer to the target they may have had in mind. Setting an innings up for a last 10 over onslaught is good in theory but at times it makes perfect sense to attack the weaker bowlers, whenever they bowl, rather than to wait for the strike bowlers to return at the death.

Nevertheless, 255 runs had been posted and in reality the West Indies never looked capable of chasing it down.

Shaun Pollock was in no mood to give away easy runs and with displays of this calibre it will no doubt give ammunition to the number of followers that think he is still capable of playing for some time yet. His ten overs went for a total of 13 measly runs, while also accounting for the dismissals of Brenton Parchment and Denesh Ramdin.

Pollock found good support in the rest of the attack, only Kallis proving a little costly. Morne Morkel continued to enhance his reputation with an excellent performance, picking up 4-36 after 8.2 overs. The West Indies could find no answers whatsoever to this South African attack and the over reliance on Chanderpaul, albeit an injured Chanderpaul that needed the use of a runner, is clearly evident. With no Ramnaresh Sarwan or Chris Gayle in the side, the batting is in desperate need of some experienced cricketers that possess the know how to succeed in tricky times.

This side has none of it and duly capitulated to 169 all out. Sewnarine Chattergoon showed promise with bat and ball, his innings of 34 off 56 balls a brief highlight to the second half of this contest.

West Indies were dreadfully lacking any ideas in how to construct a timely chase and there was only 10 balls left when Morkel completed a career best return by taking the wicket of Taylor. When a side are reduced to 97-6 they are always going to struggle to make it competitive and for a large portion of the reply, the result was already decided.

South Africa take a 2-0 lead in this five match series, as the sides do it all again on Sunday at Port Elizabeth.

South Africa 255-9 (50 overs)
Graeme Smith 86, JP Duminy 68, AB De Villiers 45
Jerome Taylor 4-34

West Indies 169 all out (48.2 overs)
Shiv Chanderpaul 54, Sewnarine Chattergoon 34
Morne Morkel 4-36, Shaun Pollock 2-13

South Africa won by 86 runs

Cricket Web Man of the Match : Shaun Pollock (10-5-13-2)

Leave a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they have been approved

More articles by Paul Wood