Sunday 20 January 2008 

Duminy Half-Century Drives South Africa To Victory

West Indies 175 (Sammy 50, Morton 41, Steyn 2-23)
South Africa 176-4 (Duminy 79no) after 34 overs in Centurion

South Africa won by six wickets and lead the series 1-0

Jean-Paul Duminy stroked an exquisite half-century as South Africa sealed a six-wicket win with two overs to spare against the West Indies in the first one-day international in Centurion.

At one point, South Africa were fighting hard as they lost their openers cheaply and then Jacques Kallis for 24 before Duminy and Justin Ontong forged an aggressive half-century partnership for the fourth wicket.

Highlights of Duminy's classy innings included a huge six over long-on off of Ravi Rampaul and a number of good looking cover drives. He chose the right time to score a career-best in one-day internationals, ending unbeaten on 79 after he hit the winning runs through midwicket.

His side were chasing 176 after a blistering half-century from Darren Sammy which helped the West Indies to a total of 175 all out before they removed both South African opening batsmen in quick time in the rain-reduced match.

The West Indies came out firing with ball in hand and quickly had Graeme Smith (one) bowled off an inside edge by Daren Powell and AB De Villiers (two) well caught in the deep by Marlon Samuels off of Fidel Edwards.

That brought Kallis and Duminy to the crease, with both men batting patiently against some good bowling but equally quick to punish anything short or wide with boundaries keeping the runs flowing.

With some rain around, and South Africa marginally behind the Duckworth-Lewis par score, Kallis (24) fell as he edged Ravi Rampaul high in the air with Denesh Ramdin taking the simplest of catches.

Once 20 overs were bowled, it was game on with Duminy and Justin Ontong played in belligerent manner to try and keep their side ahead of the rate required.

Their game-turning stand of 59 came to an end when Dwayne Bravo brought himself on to bowl and with his first legal delivery (he delivered a wide to start) pulled off a stunning full-length caught and bowled to dismiss Ontong for 23.

There was to be no further joy for the West Indies as Mark Boucher joined Duminy on the crease, scoring a typically workmanlike 26 not out as South Africa, aided by some poor West Indian fielding, cruised over the finish line in tricky, wet conditions.

Earlier, having lost six wickets in 21.3 overs, the tourists looked set to fold for a meagre score before a stirring half-century partnership between Runako Morton and Sammy for the seventh wicket kept them in the hunt with some big hitting towards the end of their innings.

Sammy smashed Albie Morkel for a six over cover shortly after being dropped by substitute fielder Johan Botha at long-on when on 23. The pair rebuilt the innings with a stand of 69 before Morton was run out by Shaun Pollock for 41.

The big St. Lucian responded to the setback by smashing Morkel for two sixes in two balls in his next over before enjoying a stroke of luck as umpire Daryl Harper chose not to refer a run out appeal that would have seen Sammy departing before he scored his maiden half-century in one-day internationals.

He was eventually run out, more by his partner Daren Powell, than the throw from Shaun Pollock in the final over for an innings of exactly 50 from 50 balls.

The innings was ended when Powell was bowled next ball by Dale Steyn, who ended with figures of two for 23 having bowled superbly throughout his spell.

The first of five one-day internationals was delayed by rain and the match was then reduced to 36 overs per side and it took only six overs for South Africa to break through, Steyn having Devon Smith caught by Graeme Smith for five.

Brenton Parchment, in the side in the continued absence of Chris Gayle through injury, made 19 from 25 balls before he was trapped in front by Pollock as South Africa utilised bowler-friendly conditions to gain an early hold on the match.

Marlon Samuels (11) thumped Andre Nel for a straight four before trying to cut a delivery that saw his stumps uprooted. Shivnarine Chanderpaul made 17 before he cut a short ball straight into the hands of De Villiers at point to leave the tourists in trouble, and Nel, who hadn't bowled anything like as well he can, smiling with two wickets for 36.

Captain Dwayne Bravo (two) added to their problems when he was caught by Boucher off of Charl Langeveldt attempting an ugly swish and in a flash the West Indies were at 72 for five.

South Africa, who bowled with discipline throughout, then had Denesh Ramdin caught behind off of Albie Morkel for three, as they assumed full control of the match.

Morton and Sammy batted sensibly until deciding to go after the bowling with eight overs to go, and their effort ensured their bowlers had something reasonable to defend. As it turned out, however, they hadn't quite given them enough and South Africa enjoy the five day break before the next match in Cape Town holding a 1-0 series lead.

� Cricket World 2008

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