Windies all but out after South Africa beating
… de Villiers hits highest score (146) by a South African
By Simon Evans
April 11, 2007
ST.GEORGE'S, Grenada (Reuters) - Hosts West Indies were all but eliminated from the World Cup after a superb knock of 146 from AB de Villiers led South Africa to a 67-run victory in a Super Eight match yesterday.
West Indies have just two points -- carried over from their win over Ireland in the group stage -- and now rely on other results going their way to have any chance of reaching the semi-finals.
Captain Brian Lara conceded he had given up hope.
Asked by reporters if he believed that the bid to reach the semi-finals was over, he replied: "I think it is. South Africa are already on six points with a much better run-rate than we -- and Sri Lanka are as well."
"All we can say is sorry to our people," Lara had said earlier after his team suffered a fourth successive defeat.
de Villiers, helped by Jacques Kallis (81), put on 170 for the second wicket as South Africa made 356 for four. Herschelle Gibbs and Mark Boucher scored half-centuries in an explosive end to the innings.
After opener Shivnarine Chanderpaul went cheaply, Chris Gayle and Devon Smith made a promising and brisk start for West Indies but both got out in the thirties.
Although Ramnaresh Sarwan made 92 to help the hosts to cross the 250-run mark for the first time in the tournament, they were always behind the run rate and finished on 289 for nine.
de Villiers' maiden one-day century guided South Africa to their highest World Cup tally, surpassing the 353 they scored against the Netherlands in the group stage of this competition.
The 23-year-old, who had been struggling for form going into the match, took a firm grip on the game along with Kallis after skipper Graeme Smith went early.
On an ideal batting track and with a fast outfield, the pair rarely looked in trouble although Kallis was dropped by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin when on 40.
Showing intelligent shot selection and smart running between the wickets, the pair built up a momentum which a mediocre West Indian bowling attack was unable to interrupt until the damage had been done.
Kallis eventually went for 81 and de Villiers went on to complete his century but, struggling with cramp, he was forced to take Smith as a runner.
The captain had little work to do, however, as de Villiers dealt with his muscle problem by simply racking up boundaries. The right-hander went on the rampage hitting four sixes in a further 46 runs in 16 balls before he was caught by Chanderpaul off Collymore.
Then it was the turn of Gibbs and Boucher to punish the West Indian attack as they shared a rapid 86-run partnership.
Boucher struck the third fastest fifty in World Cup history with his half-century coming off just 22 balls while Gibbs ended on 61 not out.
Lara's strange decision to leave his third 'power play' session until the 45th over proved costly with the South Africans scoring 77 runs from those five overs -- with pace bowler Daren Powell being hit for 26 from his final over.
There were some horrendous bowling figures for the West Indies -- Powell's 10 overs went for 78, left-armer Ian Bradshaw had no return for the 73 taken from his allotted spell while Dwayne Bravo had one for 69 from seven overs.
It needed a total change around in batting form from the hosts if they were to give South Africa any sort of fright but, after some early promise, it was a familiar story of players getting in and then failing to build major scores.
Grenadian Smith went for 33 and then Gayle was run-out for 32 just as he looked to be warming up for a big innings.
When skipper Lara went for 21 any slim chances of a run-chase vanished and Sarwan's innings, while accomplished, was in the end of no use.
SOUTH AFRICA innings
AB de Villiers c Chanderpaul b Collymore 146
G. Smith c wkpr Ramdin b Collymore 7
J. Kallis b Gayle 81
H. Gibbs not out 61
M. Boucher c & b Bravo 52
S. Pollock not out 0
Extras: (lb-3, w-6) 9
Total: (4 wkts, 50 overs) 356
Fall of wickets: 1-21, 2-191, 3-261, 4-347.
Bowling: Collymore 10-0-41-2 (w-3), Powell 10-0-78-0 (w-1), Bradshaw 10-0-73-0, Bravo 7-0-69-1 (w-2), Pollard 3-0-20-0, Gayle 6-0-42-1, Sarwan 4-0-30-0.
WEST INDIES innings
C. Gayle run-out 32
S. Chanderpaul c Smith b Pollock 4
D. Smith c de Villiers b Nel 33
B. Lara b Kallis 21
R. Sarwan c Pollock b Ntini 92
D. Bravo c Gibbs b Pollock 6
K. Pollard b Kallis 10
D. Ramdin c (sub.) Peterson b Smith 4
I. Bradshaw c Hall b Smith 20
D. Powell not out 48
C. Collymore not out 12
Extras: (lb-4, w-3) 7
Total: (9 wkts, 50 overs) 289
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-65, 3-69, 4-119, 5-142, 6-169, 7-181, 8-213, 9-254.
Bowling: Pollock 8-0-33-2, Ntini 10-1-57-1, Nel 10-0-54-1, Hall 9-0-49-0, Kallis 8-0-36-2, Smith 5-0-56-2.
Points: South Africa 2, West Indies 0.