Hosts overhaul the 123-run target in 24.4 overs to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series
Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis complemented a superb effort by the South Africa bowlers to help their team to a series-clinching nine-wicket win over West Indies in the third One-Day International at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday (January 21).
South Africa bowled West Indies out for a paltry 122 after being asked to field by Jason Holder.
Amla, who scored 66 in the first game and a career-high 153 in the second, brought up his 27th ODI half-century to guide South Africa to 124 for 1 from 24.4 overs with the threat of rain looming large. With the win, South Africa took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
Amla’s unbeaten 61 came from 63 balls, with nine hits to the fence, and du Plessis was just as effective on his way to an unbeaten 51 after South Africa lost Rilee Rossouw early, but it really the bowlers who set things up for South Africa.
Imran Tahir picked up four wickets, Vernon Philander had three, and Steyn bagged a couple as West Indies was knocked out of the game soon after it started.
The up-and-down nature of the pitch certainly contributed to the collapse, but what made matters worse for the visitors early on was that Philander, later named Man of the Match for his 3 for 27 from eight overs, and Steyn hit the line outside off stump relentlessly and forced them to play everything.
Dwayne Smith was the first to go as he edged a good-length delivery from Philander through to AB de Villiers behind the stumps and Chris Gayle, who looked like he was going to stick around, edged an attempted drive to an outswinger from Philander to leave West Indies tottering at 6 for 2.
Narsingh Deonarine, who replaced Leon Johnson for the game, was in good nick as he handled Philander and Morne Morkel with ease. But he lost his composure as he tried to cut a shortish delivery from Steyn. Amla made a hash of the straightforward chance at first slip, but de Villiers was quick to pouch the rebound. That became Steyn’s 150th wicket in what was his 96th ODI. He made it 151 soon after when Denesh Ramdin dragged a short delivery from him on to the stumps.
West Indies needed Marlon Samuels to hang around and keep the runs coming, and his cover drive off Philander just after walking in showed how confident he was. But that was only till Tahir drew him into a lofted drive after he had scored 26, the highest of the innings.
West Indies was staring down the barrel at that stage, and though a 31-run partnership between Andre Russell and Jonathan Carter raised its hopes, de Villiers gave Steyn a break and brought Morkel on and the ploy worked almost immediately.
Russell, who was dropped by Steyn earlier, tried to pull a length ball and lost his leg stump. The very next over, Tahir got Carter out lbw after a review.
The review was once again in the picture when Johan Cloete turned down an lbw shout against Carlos Brathwaite from Tahir, replays suggesting that the googly was indeed going on to hit leg stump.
Jerome Taylor was the next to go as he was trapped in front by Philander, before Holder and Sulieman Benn got together with the total at 96 for 9. The two swung their bats around for 26 runs, but that was only good enough to take West Indies to 122.
As the West Indies walked out to defend the meek total, overcast conditions did threaten to play spoilsport but, fortunately for outh Africans, the weather held on long enough.
To see the full scorecard of the match between South Africa and West Indies in East London. please click here.