ST KITTS: Leg-spinner Imran Tahir became the first South African to claim seven wickets in a one-day international as the Proteas demolished West Indies in St Kitts on Wednesday. Tahir served up a rich variety of deliveries to claim 7- 45 from nine overs as the Proteas won by 139 runs, dismissing the bewildered West Indies for 204 in 38 overs at Warner Park. Earlier, Hashim Amla scored 110 off 99 balls to notch his 23rd career ODI century, sharing an opening partnership of 182 with Quinton de Kock (71) to set the visitors on their way to a formidable 343-4.
West Indies made a bright start in reply with openers Johnson Charles and Andrew Fletcher compiling a quickfire 69 before the latter holed out at deep mid-wicket for 21 from the last ball of the ninth over to give Tahir his first wicket. The result was never in doubt once Charles, who scored 49, was sent packing in the 13th over. Tahir’s haul included the scalp of World Twenty20 hero Carlos Brathwaite, who was clean bowled by a wicked googly for a golden duck. In his 58th match, Tahir became the fastest South African bowler to reach 100 ODI wickets, and the fourth quickest overall.
Tahir said he had not realised he needed only two wickets to crack the century until a pre-match phone call from his wife. “I’m grateful she reminded me,” the 37-year-old said. “I’m really pleased.” West Indies captain Jason Holder offered no excuses. “We weren’t good enough today and were totally outplayed. We didn’t bowl well, especially the first 10 overs,” he said. South Africa’s victory leaves the triangular series evenly poised, with the Proteas, West Indies and Australia all on two wins from four matches.
South Africa, thanks to two bonus points, lead the standings with 10 points, followed by Australia on nine and West Indies on eight. The series shifts to Barbados for three more matches from Sunday and the hosts face the biggest challenge if they are to make the June 25 final. “Probably one (victory) out of two games will be enough for us to go to the final,” said South African captain AB de Villiers. —Reuters