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South Africa vs West Indies at the World Cup


South_Africa_West_Indies_ODI_World_Cup_CricketThe crucial 15th match of the ongoing 2019 World Cup, between South Africa and the West Indies, is underway at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Since their first meeting at the 1992 World Cup, the two teams have clashed six times in the showpiece limited-overs tournament, with South Africa winning on four occasions, including the last three. As we hope for a mouth-watering encounter, here is a look back at the World Cup history between the Proteas and Windies.  

Windies fall prey to Pringle – League Stage, Christchurch, 1992

World Cup debutants South Africa had suffered back-to-back defeats to New Zealand and Sri Lanka after winning their opening match against Australia, and were looking to get the better of the West Indies to put their campaign back on track. A quick pitch suiting the fast bowlers demanded caution from the batsmen, and Peter Kirsten (56) applied himself well to defy Curtly Ambrose and Malcolm Marshall, enabling the South Africans to muster a fighting total of 200/8.

The West Indian reply started torridly, as Meyrick Pringle wrecked the top order with four wickets in 11 balls. Pringle had Brian Lara caught at point, before going on to remove captain Richie Richardson, Carl Hooper and Keith Arthurton to leave the score reeling at 19/4. Gus Logie struck an attacking 61, but it was too late, as the West Indies were bowled out for only 136 in the 39th over. Pringle finished with 4/11, which ended up as the best figures of the tournament.

Lara special knocks South Africa out – Quarterfinal, Karachi, 1996

While South Africa had been unbeaten in the group stage, the Windies had lost to India and Kenya. Openers Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Courtney Browne put on a rapid 42, after which Lara took charge. With Chanderpaul (56) solid at the other end, The ‘Prince of Trinidad’ flayed the bowlers during a second-wicket stand of 138, with the highlight being five fours in an over from off-spinner Pat Symcox. He reached his ton in just 83 balls, and ended with a 94-ball 111.

The innings terminated at 264/8, with the last ten overs fetching only 48. Andrew Hudson (54) and Daryll Cullinan (69) boosted South Africa by adding 97 for the second wicket, but both perished to the left-arm spin of Jimmy Adams (3/53). Adams also accounted for captain Hansie Cronje for 40, before off-spinner Roger Harper (4/47) derailed the lower order. The West Indies held their grip until the end, ensuring that South Africa were bowled out for 245 in the final over.   

Another Lara ton, another West Indian win – Group Stage, Cape Town, 2003

Hosts South Africa gained early control in the tournament opener when captain Shaun Pollock reduced the Windies to 7/2. Chanderpaul joined Lara at this stage, and as was the case in 1996, they raised a century stand (102). Lara added another 89 for the fourth wicket with captain Hooper, before being fifth out at 215 in the 46th over. The last five overs produced 63 runs, as Ricardo Powell (40* in 18 balls) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (32* in 15) ballooned the total to 278/5.

Gary Kirsten (69) anchored South Africa’s chase (the innings was reduced by an over due to a slow over rate), but at 160/6 in the 33rd over, the game was slipping away. Mark Boucher (49) and Lance Klusener (57) gave a late twist to the contest, and the last over, to be bowled by Vasbert Drakes, began at 270/7. With eight needed in four balls, Klusener was caught by Hooper at deep mid-wicket, much to the dismay of the crowd. South Africa eventually finished at 275/9.  

De Villiers sets Grenada alight – Super Eight Stage, St. George’s, 2007

The West Indies’ chances of staying alive in their home World Cup were hanging by a thread, and a 67-run defeat to South Africa all but ended their hopes of reaching the semifinals. The early loss of captain Graeme Smith did not deter AB de Villiers, who forged a second-wicket stand of 170 with Jacques Kallis (81) to take the game away from the opposition. De Villiers duly notched his first ODI century in 113 balls, and galloped towards 146 in 130 balls thereafter.

Despite battling a cramp, de Villiers went into overdrive mode in the later stages of his innings, and hit 12 fours and five sixes in all. Herschelle Gibbs (61*) and Mark Boucher (52* in just 23 balls) further upped the ante, adding 86 for the fourth wicket in a mere 37 balls. Staring at a mountainous total of 356/4, the deflated West Indians stumbled to 69/3. Ramnaresh Sarwan (92) waged a lone battle, before a tail-end counterattack by Darren Powell dragged the total to 289/9.

Delhi delight for South Africa – Group Stage, Delhi, 2011

This was the first match of the tournament for both teams. Chris Gayle’s first-over departure was made up for by a second-wicket stand of 111 between Devon Smith and Darren Bravo (73), before the latter became off-spinner Johan Botha’s second victim. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir (4/41) dented the West Indies further, as he got rid of Smith and Sarwan to leave the score at 120/4. Dwayne Bravo clubbed a quick 40 to inject some momentum, before falling to a run-out.

The West Indies were 209/5 in the 43rd over with Chanderpaul still in the middle, and would have had hoped to rack up a challenging total. However, speedster Dale Steyn (3/24) hastened their demise, thus bringing the innings to a close at 222 in the 48th over. The Proteas lost Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis to wobble to 20/2, but de Villiers was in his element. He remained unbeaten on 107 off 105 balls, shepherding South Africa to a seven-wicket win with 43 balls left.   

That man de Villiers again – Group Stage, Sydney, 2015

De Villiers recorded his third consecutive World Cup century against the West Indies, and this one, while leading the side, was by far the most ferocious. When he came in to bat, South Africa were 146/3 in the 30th over, with Amla (65) and Faf du Plessis (62) having been the contributors. His fourth-wicket stand of 134 with Rilee Rossouw (61 in 39 balls) took less than 13 overs, and by the time it ended, he had cruised to 68 in 38 balls. He soon raced to his century from 52 balls.

If that was extraordinary, what followed was surreal, as his third fifty took just 12 balls. He blasted 30 runs in the final over, bowled by his opposite number Jason Holder, to remain unbeaten on a stunning 162 in 66 balls – with 17 fours and eight sixes – and power South Africa to 408/5 (the last five overs saw 96 runs). The shell-shocked West Indians crumbled to 63/7 before folding for 151, giving South Africa what was then the joint-largest win at the World Cup.

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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