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Tahir takes seven as South Africa leap to top of table

Imran Tahir celebrating his seven-wicket haul against West Indies in St Kitts.
Imran Tahir celebrating his seven-wicket haul against West Indies in St Kitts.
©WICB Media/Randy Brooks of Brooks Latouche Photography
The victory for South Africa was set by a massive 182-run opening stand between Hashim Amla (left) and Quinton de Kock (right).
The victory for South Africa was set by a massive 182-run opening stand between Hashim Amla (left) and Quinton de Kock (right).
©WICB Media/Randy Brooks of Brooks Latouche Photography

South Africa 343-4 (Amla 110) beat
West Indies 204 (Tahir 7-45) by 139 runs
Sixth Match, West Indies Tri-Series, St Kitts

Hashim Amla’s splendid century was followed by a career-best seven-wicket haul from Imran Tahir as South Africa bundled West Indies out for 204 runs in a chase of 344 runs to secure a massive 139-run win in the sixth match of the tri-series, which took them to the top of the points table.

Amla’s century was perfectly complemented by a responsible 71 from Quinton de Kock and an unbeaten 73 from Faf du Plessis as South Africa piled on 343 for four in 50 overs.

In reply, West Indies started well with a 69-run opening stand but then lost their way as Tahir rocked the batting line-up with his seven-wicket haul.

West Indies won the toss and opted to bowl first. Tabraiz Shamsi and Chris Morris replaced Aaron Phangiso and Kyle Abbott for South Africa while West Indies remained unchanged.

Amla (110) started off with caution but then along with de Kock (71), he unfurled a flurry of boundaries bringing up the team's fifty in just 10 overs.

With Amla going at a good pace, de Kock dropped anchor and thwarted the West Indies bowling attack. It took Amla just 37 balls to get to his fifty and the pair brought up the 100-run opening stand in the 18th over.

At the halfway mark, South Africa reached 140 for no loss. Moments later, de Kock brought up his own fifty while Amla moved into the 90s.

With a single past point, Amla reached his 23rd century in ODIs and got there in just 89 balls, while Amla also went past 1,000 runs against West Indies during this knock.

Three overs later, Amla holed out to long-off and immediately in the 35th over, de Kock was castled by Jerome Taylor (1-72).

With South Africa at 196 for two after 35 overs, West Indies had a chance to pull things back, however, a 60-run stand between Morris (40) and du Plessis (73 not out) thwarted any such plans.

Morris justified his promotion in the batting order with a 26-ball 40 and by the time he fell in the 41st over, South Africa had raced away to 245 runs.

Du Plessis and AB de Villiers (27) scored 41 runs from the next three overs, bringing up the 300 for the first time in the series. Soon after du Plessis reached his fifty, Kieron Pollard (2-64) had de Villiers caught at long-on.

Nevertheless, du Plessis and JP Duminy (10 not out) plundered 31 runs from the last two overs to push South Africa to 343 for four.

Johnson Charles (49) and Andre Fletcher (21) got the chase going with a burst of boundaries, bringing up the team fifty in just 5.1 overs.

The introduction of Tahir (7-45) slowed down the scoring rate and he went on to strike in his second over as Fletcher holed out to deep mid-wicket.

Shamsi (2-41) also struck in his second over to remove Charles, who was caught at long-off. South Africa continued to chip away at the wickets column as Wayne Parnell (1-43) breached Darren Bravo’s (11) defences to leave West Indies at 90 for three after 16 overs.

Denesh Ramdin (11) and Marlon Samuels (24) added 31 runs for the fourth wicket but they fell in successive overs to Shamsi and Tahir respectively. Samuels was Tahir’s 100th ODI wicket.

A 41-run stand for the sixth wicket between Jason Holder (19) and Pollard (20) rescued West Indies but only for a while.

Tahir removed Holder, Carlos Brathwaite (0) and Pollard in the 34th over, completely demolishing the West Indies batting line-up. It took Tahir just two more overs to dismiss Sulieman Benn (0) and Taylor (16) as West Indies were bowled out for 204 runs in 38 overs.

South Africa completed a 139-run win which gained them a bonus point and leapfrogged them to the top of the table. The defeat pushed West Indies to the bottom of the table.

Tahir also became the first South African bowler to secure a seven-wicket haul in ODIs and was also named the man of the match.

© Cricket World 2016