AB: I'm a little bit embarrassed

2015-01-17 07:46
AB de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Durban -  AB de Villiers top-scored with 81 and effected five dismissals behind the wicket as South Africa beat the West Indies by 61 runs in a rain-affected first ODI at Kingsmead on Friday.

De Villiers was well supported by Hashim Amla (66) and David Miller (70) as South Africa reached 279-8 in 48.2 overs, before rain swept in to cut the innings short and leave the West Indies with a revised target of 229 in 33 overs.

The tourists got off to a rapid start as Chris Gayle hit 41 from 24 balls, but their challenge faded after Dale Steyn (3-27) found the edge of the opener's bat and De Villiers claimed the first of four catches, which were complemented by a stumping.

Another brief delay saw the target revised to 226 in 32 overs, but that only served to slim down the West Indies' margin of defeat as it was bowled out for 164 in just 28.2 overs.

De Villiers was named man of the match, having shared a 99-run stand with Amla, who became the fastest batsman to 5,000 ODI runs, and added 123 for the fourth wicket with Miller, who scored 70.

"I'm a little bit embarrassed to be standing here with the man of the match award to be honest because David Miller batted much better than me. He looked like he played on a different wicket today," De Villiers said in a television interview.

The two partnerships were crucial to the South African cause after Jerome Taylor found some early swing to dismiss both Rilee Rossouw and Faf du Plessis for ducks.

From 16-2 in the fifth over, De Villiers took control with his fourth fifty in his last five one-day innings.

Meanwhile Amla scored his 66 from as many balls to reach the 5,000-run mark in his 101st innings - an improvement on the 114 needed by former West Indies great Sir Vivian Richards and India's Virat Kohli.

Amla was eventually run out when he took on Andre Russell's arm and lost, but Miller's 68-ball knock kept the scoreboard ticking over until he was caught in the deep off the bowling of new West Indies captain Jason Holder.

That sparked a South African collapse in which it lost five wickets for 34 runs in eight overs, with Russell claiming two wickets with the ball as well as effecting the run-out of Farhaan Behardien.

The host's innings was petering out when rain caused play to be delayed by nearly three hours, and the Duckworth-Lewis adjusted target appeared as though it might suit the West Indies - particularly after Gayle's assault.

However, once Steyn had taken care of the hard-hitting Jamaican, the West Indies unraveled as legspinner Imran Tahir (3-30) and seamer Vernon Philander (3-44) swept through the middle order.

Steyn polished the match off with two wickets in two balls to give the Proteas a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, which resumes at the Wanderers on Sunday.

Read more on:    proteas  |  ab de villiers  |  cricket

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