South Africa cruise to dour 13 run victory
South Africa cruised to a comprehensive 13 run victory against the West Indies in a dour game devoid of any excitement at an almost empty Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
After a fantastic finish to the Twenty20 World Cup in Barbados at the weekend attention tuned to Antigua where the hosts and South Africa looked to recover after suffering disappointing tournaments which saw the pair both depart after the Super Eights stage.
On a bowler friendly wicket which affected both sides while batting; the West Indies struggled in their attempts to chase South Africaís total of 136 falling well short of the winning target.
Faced with a tricky run chase only Kieron Pollard (27) and Dwayne Bravo (20) offered any sort of resistantís as South Africaís bowlers took control of the game early on by dismissing openers Andre Fletcher (0) and Chris Gayle (14) inside the first 65 overs.
Pollardís innings offered a brief passage of excitement for the crowd as he smashed a quick fire 27 from just 27 balls which included 2 fours and a six.
The loss of Pollard; who was bowled by Ryan McLaren in the 15th over left the West Indies needing another 49 runs from just 26 balls.
With the big hitting all rounder gone the West Indies hopes of victory all but disappeared as the game petered out into a dull finish with South Africa bowling 8 wides and a no ball inside the last 4 overs.
All though the outcome will be quickly forgotten by both teams and the fans unluckily enough to have watched the game the innings by Kallis was the only highlight as both teams struggled on a slow life less wicket.
Jacques Kallis scored a superb half century to help South Africa reach 136-7 thanks to his 73 run partnership with Graeme Smith (37) which was the backbone of South Africaís innings.
Their partnership was ended in the 12th over when Smith was stumped by Fletcher. Although the decision was touch and go Smith decided to walk even though TV replays showed he was comfortably in his crease.
The wicket of Smith was the second of two strange dismissals in the innings which saw Loots Bosman (7) walk after being caught by Fletcher despite the delivery from Nikita Miller being called wide by umpire Clyde Duncan.
Kallisís brilliant innings was brought to an end by Kieron Pollard in the 15th over and the break through by the all rounder saw South Africa lose another 4 wickets in the space of just two overs.
The wickets of AB de Villiers (11), JP Duminy (0), Johan Botha (6) and Alviro Petersen (6) saw the Proteas slump from 115-3 to 127-7 with just 8 balls left in the innings.
Ryan McLaren and Reolof van der Merwe added another 9 runs to help South Africa set the West Indies a tricky run chase on a less then suitable batting wicket.