Proteas maintain perfect record

TOURISTS IN TATTERS:The West Indies lost once again, despite good first and 10th wicket partnerships, as South Africa easily chased down a total of 264 to win


Sun, Feb 03, 2008 - Page 24

AB de Villiers struck a confident 77 while Shaun Pollock bid an emotional home town farewell as South Africa beat the West Indies by five wickets at Kingsmead on Friday to maintain a perfect record in the one-day series.

Pollock, playing in his last match on his home ground before retiring after today's final match in Johannesburg, delighted a capacity crowd by hitting the winning boundary to seal South Africa's win with 13 balls to spare in the fourth one-day international.

South Africa faced a bigger than expected target after an unbeaten last wicket stand of 57 between Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards lifted the West Indies to a competitive total of 263 for nine.

But captain Graeme Smith got South Africa off to a fast start, hammering 50 off 37 balls and dominating an opening stand of 77 with Herschelle Gibbs.

There was a brief wobble as Smith was caught at midwicket immediately after reaching his half-century and Jacques Kallis went for a single in the next over.

Gibbs followed for 39 with the total on 118 but De Villiers and JP Duminy put South Africa firmly on the way to victory with a fourth wicket stand of 99 before Duminy was caught at wide long-on for 44.

De Villiers fell with 34 rus still needed but veterans Pollock and Mark Boucher steered South Africa home.

The West Indies failed to take full advantage of their best opening partnership of the series after winning the toss in ideal batting conditions.

Inexperienced duo Brenton Parchment and Sewnarine Chattergoon put on 97 for the first wicket and the West Indies seemed set for a big total on a good pitch in scorchingly hot weather.

But home town favorite Pollock broke the stand and the tourists slid to 206 for nine in the 45th over.

Despite a hard-hit 38 off 24 balls by Patrick Browne, the West Indies were unable to build any other substantial partnerships until Taylor and Edwards came together.