It was, in a way, an inaugural for the CWC 2011 as two majors of cricket were head to head at Ferozahshah Kotla, Delhi. It was Proteas against the mighty West Indies. On paper Proteas were a stronger team and they proved it on field as well, as SA beat West Indies by a comfortable 7 wickets with more than 7 overs to spare. The cricket prodigy of AB de Villiers got him the man of the match award for his 107 of just 105 balls.
The ever changing West Indies cricket, at least in terms of changing their captain, under the leadership Darren Sammy as the new captain were sent in by the South Africans. The dangerous, Chris Gayle opened the innings alongside Devon Smith as the non-striker. South African experimented, in order to adapt to the subcontinent pitches, with Johan Botha to start with the new ball and it paid dividends in the very first over as Gayle walked back after getting caught by Jack Kallis for just 2. Then came Darren Bravo to the crease and gave a strong foundation to the WI innings with a stand of 111 before Bravo was caught napping in front of the stumps on the bowling of Botha for 73 in the 24th over. Wickets started to flutter as Smith got out to Tahir as he favoured him a return catch, Sarwan didn’t help the WI cause much and left office after scoring just 2 of 10 balls in the 27th over. With two new batsmen on the crease, it was required to resurrect the innings which Dwayne Bravo and Devon Thomas achieved to an extent with a 58 run stand before Bravo ran himself out. Steyn then didn’t allow WI to come out of shackles and wrapped 3 quick wickets including powerful Kieron Pollard with a skidding in swinger and claiming an lbw. WI finished at a mediocre 222 all out with 15 balls to spare.
Hashim Amla took charge of innings and scored 14 out of 15 runs before holding out to D Thomas of the bowling of Roach. WI soon got rid of, the most capped South African, Jack Kallis with scoreboard reading 20 in the 5th over. It was prodigy of AB de Villiers, which then sailed SA to a comfortable 7 wicket win as he scored an unbeaten 107, better than run a ball while he was duly supported by captain Graeme Smith and J P Duminy, who remained not out at 42. WI bowling was mediocre with almost all the bowlers hovering around 5 runs per over. WI also faced a setback as Dwayne Bravo hurt his knee which ended the game for him and was sent for medical check-up and scans.
A small rain outburst, which is a part of South African history and their downfall in major tournaments, didn’t hamper SA pace of runs this time and duly helped by the star AB de Villiers. Imran Tahir, the debutant, was on a dream debut as he got 4 crucial wickets and at important junctures of the match.
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