Go! & Express
Windies claim victory in Buffalo Park thriller
Bavuma scores career-best 144
At Buffalo Park last Saturday, a bumper crowd enjoyed some thrilling cricket when the Betway One-Day International Series between SA and the West Indies finally got underway.
The opening match had been washed out by persistent rain last Thursday.
And the crowd certainly got their money’s worth with well over 600 runs being scored and with sixes and fours being the order of the day.
Spectators saw stroke-filled centuries by both captains.
After winning the toss, the Windies accelerated to 335 for eight wickets in their 50 overs, with skipper Shai Hope finishing with 128 not out off 115 balls which included five fours and seven sixes and the visitors ended with 335 for eight wickets.
It was a stiff target for the Proteas and SA’s captain Temba Bavuma stood firm with a brilliant 144 runs, his fourth and career-best century in ODIs. This followed his 172 in the second Test at the Wanderers the week before.
While Hope had some excellent support from his teammates, only opening batsman Quinton de Kock with 48 off 26 balls (5x3, 3x6) and Tony de Zorzi on his ODI debut, with 27 (4x4), gave Bavuma any support.
Looking for 336 for a win, SA started like a house on fire. Lefthander De Kock in particular was in sublime form and showed no mercy to the Windies’ bowling attack.
He and Bavuma reached 50 in the sixth over and added 76 for the opening partnership. Two of De Kock’s sixes sailed over the fine-leg boundary at the far end of the ground.
Another debutant, Ryan Rickelton scored a sedate 14 at number three but never really looked comfortable as he and Bavuma added 37.
Next man in De Zorzi on 17 had a close shave when a throw-in just missed the wickets with him being two metres short of the line after he had cut the ball to third man and Bavuma unexpectedly called him for a single which simply was not on.
The skipper apologised profusely.
SA fast bowler Gerald Coetzee had a pleasing debut and he was the stand-out bowler on display with figures of 3/57. Spinners Bjorn Fortuin and Tabraiz Shamsi each captured two wickets.
At the end, the Windies thoroughly deserved their 48-run victory.