Classy De Villiers Leads South Africa To World Cup Win

Classy De Villiers Leads South Africa To World Cup Win
Classy De Villiers Leads South Africa To World Cup Win
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 223-3 (de Villiers 107no) beat
West Indies 222 (DM Bravo 73) by seven wickets
ICC Cricket World Cup Group B, Delhi
Video Bulletin: Proteas Make Winning Start
Audio: Darren Sammy | Graeme Smith

Podcast: Cricket World At The World Cup

Imran Tahir marked his One-Day International debut by taking four for 40 and AB de Villiers scored a classy century as South Africa breezed to a seven-wicket victory over the West Indies in their Cricket World Cup Group B match at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi.

The West Indies failed to bat out their 50 overs and were bowled out for 222, a target which the Proteas reached in just 42.5 overs with de Villiers unbeaten on 107 in 105 balls.

South Africa named three specialist spinners for their opening match, Johan Botha (2-48) opening the bowling and as the West Indies were never allowed to settle, only Darren Bravo, who made 73, impressed with the bat.

Botha struck early to have Chris Gayle caught at slip by Jacques Kallis for two and then later to remove Bravo, who batted fluently before being trapped in front.

Pakistan-born leg-spinner Tahir, playing his first match since qualifying as a South African in January, then dismissed Devon Smith (36), Ramnaresh Sarwan (2), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (31) and Devon Thomas (15) to put the West Indies on the back foot.

Dwayne Bravo counter-attacked with 40 in 37 balls, hitting three sixes, before he was run out while speedster Dale Steyn made short work of the tail, returning three for 24 by trappping Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy in front and then having Sulieman Benn caught by Morne Morkel.

Darren Bravo and Chanderpaul added 111 for the second wicket but the West Indies were undone by losing three wickets for seven runs when Bravo, Smith and Sarwan departed and then five further wickets for 13 towards the end.

The West Indies then came out fighting with the ball, their early work in the field backing up opening bowlers Kemar Roach and Sulieman Benn.

Wicket-keeper Thomas took a superb diving catch to his left to snaffle an inside edge offered by Hashim Amla (14) off Roach and Sammy reacted well to pick up a low catch at slip as Benn removed Jacques Kallis for four.

However, the experience of Graeme Smith (45) and de Villiers then put the game beyond the men from the Caribbean with a measured 119-run stand for the third wicket, which was ended when Smith was bowled by Pollard.

By then, the West Indies were already a bowler short when Dwayne Bravo fell during his follow through and appeared to badly injure his left knee. He was almost immediately ruled out of any further participation in the game and will have scans to determine the extent of the damage.

De Villiers continued his progress unabated by the loss of Smith's wicket, and even a brief rain delay did not slow him down as he scored his 10th ODI century in 97 balls.

He hit eight fours and  two sixes and then combined in another half-century stand with JP Duminy, who closed unbeaten on 42 in 53 balls.

© Cricket World 2011

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