AB De Villiers led from the front as he made top score of 81 and then completed five dismissals behind the stumps as South Africa beat the West Indies by 61 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method in the opening One Day International in Durban on Friday. De Villiers (81 off 94 balls, 6 fours) shared important partnerships of 99 for the third wicket with Hashim Amla (66 off 66 balls, 10 fours) after the loss of two early wickets and then 123 for the fourth wicket with David Miller (70 off 68 balls, 7 fours and 2 sixes) to give the Proteas a competitive total of 279/8 in 48.2 overs before the rain came down. The Windies were left with a target of 233 in 33 overs which was later reduced to 225 off 32 overs but once the South Africans had survived the initial onslaught from Chris Gayle (41 off 24 balls, 5 fours and 2 sixes) their bowlers always had the game under control.
Once Gayle was dismissed the Caribbean cricketers lost 9 wickets for 113 runs with Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Imran Tahir taking three wickets each. In the process Imran took his 50th ODI wicket for the Proteas. There was also a statistical highlight for Amla who completed 5 000 runs in this format and achieved this landmark in only his 101st match.
The previous record was jointly held by Sir Viv Richards and Virat Kohli who took 114 matches each. Amla also holds the record for the quickest to 2 000, 3 000 and 4 000 runs. He and De Villiers are now averaging almost 80 runs for every partnership they have had together with 9 century stands and 8 50-run partnerships.
The second match in the series will be the Pink ODI which takes place in Johnnesburg on Sunday.
Photo credti: Duif Du Toit-Gallo Images-Getty-Images