Dale Steyn ended a short but brutal rampage by Chris Gayle to open the way for South Africa to beat the West Indies in a rain-affected first one-day international at Kingsmead on Friday.
The hosts won by 61 runs according to the Duckworth-Lewis method when the tourists were bowled out for 164. South Africa made 279-8 before their innings was cut short by rain after 48.2 overs.
Chasing a reduced target, which eventually became 225 runs off 32 overs after another brief interruption, Gayle led the West Indies to a storming start as he and Dwayne Smith put on 51 for the first wicket inside the first six overs.
Gayle, who played match-winning innings in both Twenty20 internationals he played ahead of the one-day series, swung at almost everything as he made 41 off 24 deliveries, with two sixes and five fours. He hit two fours in Steyn’s first over — one a top edge over wicketkeeper A.B. de Villiers — but swung once too often and edged a catch to De Villiers.
Leon Johnson was dismissed in the next over by Vernon Philander and the West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals as they fell behind the asking rate.
“We made a start, but lost our way in the middle,” new West Indies captain Jason Holder said.
Half centuries by Hashim Amla, man of the match De Villiers and David Miller enabled South Africa to make a total that De Villiers said he was always comfortable with.
“There was a lot happening in that wicket,” he said.
South Africa were rocked by two early wickets and were pegged back toward the end of the innings, but runs flowed freely in between as De Villiers shared partnerships of 99 with Amla and 123 with Miller, both at slightly better than a run a ball.
Amla and De Villiers, South Africa’s champion batting pair, came together with the total at 16-2 in the fifth over and the runs soon started to flow.
Amla reached 5,000 one-day international runs in his 104th match — fewer than any other batsman — when he went past 54. He hurried to 66 off 66 deliveries before he was run out attempting a second run to deep point, failing to beat a superb throw from Andre Russell.
The left-handed Miller made 70 off 68 deliveries before his dismissal, with the total on 238 in the 40th over, sparking a collapse in which five wickets fell for 41 runs in 9.2 overs.
De Villiers followed soon afterward after making a relatively restrained 81 off 94 deliveries.
N ZEALAND, Sri Lanka
Persistent rain washed out the third one-day international between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at Eden Park in Auckland yesterday after less than 30 overs of the hosts’ innings.
New Zealand had been well placed at 145-3 in the 29th over of a game already reduced to 43 overs due to two previous rain delays.
Opener Martin Guptill shook off a poor run of form at international level with a confidence-boosting 66 not out from 78 deliveries before the rain forced them off the field for the final time.
Guptill, who had passed 50 just once since he scored 111 on the same ground against India a year ago, was tentative before he dispatched a Nuwan Kulasekara delivery for six over long-on and then grew in confidence.
Until then he had been watching Brendon McCullum attack the Sri Lanka bowlers, belting 28 before he was well caught by Kulasekara off Angelo Mathews.
Guptill and Tom Latham (42) then combined for 99 runs, while being forced off twice for rain, before Sri Lanka captain Mathews got the left-handed Latham to chop on then had Ross Taylor LBW for 3 in his next over.
Rain then forced the players off for the final time.
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