Proteas Wallop West Indies Again

Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw gave South Africa the perfect World Cup send-off as they struck impressive centuries in a record partnership that secured a 131-run victory over the West Indies in the fifth One-Day International at SuperSport Park.  In a match reduced to 42 overs per side when afternoon rain delayed the start by two and a half hours, Amla scored 133 (105 balls, 11x4s, 6x6s) and Rossouw hammered 132 (98 balls, 9x4s, 8x6s) in a South African total of 361/5.  The West Indian reply was stunted by the dismissal of Chris Gayle off the very first ball, and had its heart ripped out when Wayne Parnell picked up four wickets in 10 deliveries.

The tourists were eventually bowled out for 230 in 37.4 overs.  The only mild disappointment for the Proteas was Quinton De Kock’s inability to spend time at the crease on his return from injury, but the good news was that the wicketkeeper appeared fit and nimble on his feet behind the stumps.  De Kock and Faf Du Plessis fell in the opening 10 overs after the West indies had won the toss and elected to bowl in conditions that offered some swing early on, but from there on the Proteas dominated.

Amla and Rossouw began steadily but then flicked gears in the 29th over, before going on to take 152 runs from their last 63 deliveries together.  Their partnership of 247 beat the previous South African record for the third wicket of 238 that Amla and AB De Villiers scored against Pakistan in 2013, and is the second highest of all time after the 258 scored by Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin against Bangladesh in St Kitts last year.  By a quirk of fate Amla and Rossouw have shared two partnerships of 247 in the space of 10 days.

Those two partnerships are the highest for any wicket for the Proteas and 15th on the all-time list of record partnerships for any wicket.  Amla’s average for the series is 206.5 – 413 runs from 4 innings with two not outs, which compares with the 402 runs in five matches when he became the first South African to score more than 400 runs in a series in the Caribbean in 2010.  This was his 19th ODI century, while Rossouw’s was his second.

In reply Gayle was caught behind off the bowling of Kyle Abbott (2/59), who also took the wicket of top-scorer Marlon Samuels (50).  Samuels had added 91 with Denesh Ramdin (40), but his dismissal sparked a collapse as Parnell ran through the middle order and finished with 4/42 in his nine overs.