West Indies get the beating of a lifetime

SYDNEY –– A.B. de Villiers defeated the West Indies by 11 runs in their ICC World Cup match-up at the Sydney Cricket Ground today.

Actually, de Villiers and the rest of the South African team beat the West Indies by an embarrassing 257 runs, the joint worst defeat in the history of One-Day Internationals.

de Villiers hit the record-fastest 150 in ODIs as South Africa totally annihilated the West Indies and did great damage to their net run-rate in a zone where run-rate could play a part in determining which four go through to the quarter-finals.

AB de Villiers slaughtered the West Indies bowling.
AB de Villiers slaughtered the West Indies bowling.

de Villiers scored 162 off just 66 balls in an incredible display of hitting to fire South Africa to a total of 408 from 5 from their 50 overs.

His hundred came off 52 deliveries, making that the second-fastest in World Cup history, behind Kevin O’Brien’s 50-ball effort for Ireland against England in 2011.

Chris Gayle could not repeat his double-hundred heroics following his 215 in the West Indies’ last game against Zimbabwe –– he fell for three –– as the West Indies crumbled to 151 all out and tied the record World Cup defeat of 257 runs.

South Africa won the toss and chose to bat first at the SCG but opener Quinton de Kock fell cheaply again for 12 as he picked out the man at cover off Jason Holder.

Hashim Amla (65) and Francois du Plessis (62) passed fifty as they rebuilt the innings with a 127-run partnership but both fell within two balls of each other in the 30th over to Chris Gayle.

That left the Proteas 146-3 when de Villiers came to the crease before his astonishing innings saw 261 runs come from the final 20 overs, including 72 from the batting powerplay and 150 from the final ten.

Rilee Rossouw’s 61 from 39 balls added to the carnage before he departed with eight overs to go –– getting a thick edge off Andre Russell through to Denesh Ramdin –– and David Miller (20 off 16) fell to an incredible one-handed catch on the boundary by Jason Taylor.

But in truth, the show was at the other end as de Villiers –– despite seemingly suffering from heat exhaustion and cramp –– first went through to his hundred with a six off Holder in the 48th over and then reached his 150 in the same fashion, off the same bowler, a mere 12 balls later.

Holder’s final two overs cost him 64 as he finished with figures of 1-104, despite having only conceded nine runs in his first five overs.

It helped propel South Africa to the second-highest score ever in a World Cup, leaving the West Indies a mammoth 409 runs to win.

If there was ever a man capable of such a task it would be Gayle, fresh of a World Cup double-hundred, but he lasted only four balls –– clean bowled by Kyle Abbott in the second over.

Marlon Samuels –– who also scored a century in their win over Zimbabwe –– fell for a nine-ball duck to Abbott two overs later and with him went any super slim hope of a West Indies win.

Jonathan Carter was the next to go, for ten, mis-timing a pull shot off Morne Morkel to that man de Villiers at mid-on. It was the first of five wickets to fall for 11 runs as Imran Tahir –– with a career-best 5 for 45 –– ripped through the West Indies middle-order.

At 63 for 7 and in danger of a record ODI defeat, captain Holder top-scored with 56 off 48 balls to help avoid that embarrassment, but it was the only bright spark in an otherwise disastrous outing for the men from the Caribbean.

Dale Steyn eventually picked up his wicket –– only his third so far of the World Cup –– before Morkel picked up the final wicket of Sulieman Benn three balls later with 16.5 overs to spare.

After the match Holder bemoaned the performance of his side, after a promising start.

“Did pretty well early on, keeping the run-rate down. But A.B. took the game away from us. If you take away his innings, it looked a totally different score. We dropped chances, and chasing 400 was always tough. But had we held on to some of those chances, we could have had 350 to chase and could have had the chance. Our death bowling needs to be looked at. Just need to take the positives from today and go on to India. Need to put it behind us, but need to correct the errors moving forward. Still up for the quarter finals. Need to play good cricket,” he said.

 Man-of-the-Match de Villiers praised his team’s efforts.

“They’re quite a few things that played a role. The credit had to go to the guys up front and Rilee’s energy inspired me. That affected me and I wanted to play like that and then I started timing the ball and it all came off. Watching the ball is very important. Get to know your own game, play within your weaknesses and strengths and wait to play to your strengths. I don’t see it as a risk. I read the situation, I try to read the bowler and I understand my own momentum . . . The bounce of the ball went my way, but I’m sure West Indies will bounce back,” he said.

South Africa are next in action against Ireland in Canberra on Tuesday, while the West Indies face India in Perth next Friday.

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