New Delhi, Feb 24:After a couple of early hiccups, it was smooth sailing for South Africa in the 7th match of the World Cup 2011, at Delhi, as they went on to claim victory against the West Indies by 7 wickets with 7.1 overs to spare.
A B de Villiers steered his side home with a masterful 107 not out and was ably supported by Graeme Smith,who made 45,and J P Duminy,who scored an unbeaten 42. Earlier in the day, South African bowlers Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn triggered a latter order collapse of the Windies taking 4/41 and 3/24 respectively to limit their opponents to 222 in 47.2 overs, when at one stage it looked like they would cross 250.
The South African innings appeared to have been given a forceful start, before keeper Devon Thomas took a spectacular catch to dismiss Hashim Amla for 14 off 14. South Africa were 15/1 when Jacques Kallis came to the crease. But no sooner had the batsman settled in than he was unsettled by a ripper from off-spinner Suleiman Benn who had him caught at slip for 4. It appeared for an instant that the Windies had wrested back control of the match at 20/2 in 5 overs.
But the next batsman A B de Villiers, wasn't going to back down. He flayed Kemar Roach for three fours in the 8th over to take South Africa to 40/2. In the 10th over, Graeme Smith took a single off Windies' captain Darren Sammy to bring up his side's 50 and together with de Villiers, pressed ahead swiftly. The runs were coming fairly smoothly, though the boundaries appeared to have parched up. However, in the 22nd over, de Villiers lofted off-spinner Chris Gayle for a huge six to take his side past 100.
Then there was more aggressive play from de Villiers in the 28th over, when he carted Benn for a four and six off successive balls as the Proteas climbed to 138/2. But in the very next over, against the run of play, Pollard got the breakthrough when his medium pace pegged back the stumps of Smith for 45 off 78 balls. South Africa were 140/3 in 28.3 overs. Their position in the context of the match however, was still strong and with J P Duminy, the next man to sign in, the Windies chances to forcing an upset were looking bleaker by the ball.
This situation was only accentuated when Duminy smacked Pollard for a four to bring up his side's 150 in the 31st over. Only a brief spell of rain came to the Windies' aid, but once the dampness subsided, the Proteas' onslaught continued. De Villiers took a single of Benn in the 39th over as the score now read a healthy 200/3. Just running a few more ones and twos got South Africa home by a mile. The Proteas had reached 223/3 in 42.5 overs.