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Pollard, Narine shine for the West Indies in four-wicket win

Offspinner picks up 6-27 to keep South Africa to 188 before allrounder leads chase with fifty in opening game of tri-series

Pollard, Narine shine for the West Indies in four-wicket win  - Cricket News
Sunil Narine snatched six wickets with his offspin as the West Indies completed a four-wicket win over South Africa

Kieron Pollard smoked an unbeaten fifty while Sunil Narine snatched six wickets with his offspin as the West Indies completed a four-wicket win over South Africa in the first match of the tri-series at the Providence National Stadium, Guyana, late on Friday (June 3).

Narine, who picked up the Player of the Match award, showed off his remodelled action as he scythed through the South African batting order, bagging 6 for 27 from 9.5 overs, the best figures by a West Indian spinner in ODIs. That restricted the visitors to 188 in 46.5 overs, negating a gusty 61 from top-scorer Rilee Rossouw.

Pollard then hammered a run-a-ball 67, including six monster sixes and a four, which piloted the Caribbean side to 191 for 6 in 48.1 overs. Aaron Phangiso, the left-arm spinner, picked up 3 for 40, while Imran Tahir, the legspinner, chipped in with 2 for 41 for South Africa.

Carlos Brathwaite picked up 2 for 35 with his medium-pace as the Proteas top-order of skipper AB de Villiers (31), Quinton de Kock (30), JP Duminy (23) and Hashim Amla (20) were made to work extremely hard for their runs.

During the West Indies chase, Johnson Charles (31) flayed Abbott twice during the pacer’s opening over, both times reaching the fence as it sped through the slip region. He found similar luck facing the livelier Rabada as he edged the third ball bowled down to the third-man boundary for another four.

Andre Fletcher (11) was not as fortunate as his opening partner, being bamboozled by a googly from Tahir who made the breakthrough for his skipper, which left West Indies at 37 for 1. Another well-bowled googly from Tahir accounted for the wicket of Charles, before Phangiso removed Marlon Samuels leg before for a duck, leaving the home side in some trouble at 53 for 3.

Darren Bravo dug in for his 30 before Phangiso had him out leg before. Duminy’s (1-12) part-time spin worked well as he removed Denesh Ramdin for 10, caught by de Villiers at short extra-cover. With four down, Pollard strolled to the middle and clobbered Duminy back over his head for six before smashing Phangiso for another pair to help his team regain some lost momentum. Rabada especially felt the brunt of Pollard. 

Pollard soon reached his fifty off 45 balls but Brathwaite held out to Farhaan Behardien at long-on, giving Phangiso his third. With just four needed from roughly three overs, Holder and Pollard took their team home with four wickets and 11 balls to spare, the skipper hitting the winning runs, a boundary over extra cover to seal the deal.

Earlier, de Kock and Amla’s left-right combination provided the visitors with a decent start. However, Brathwaite drew first blood when he knocked over the left-handed wicketkeeper for a 34-ball 30 which featured six fours. Narine then snared the big fish Amla for 20, pinning him leg before wicket.

Rossouw came in at No. 3 with the score 52 for 2. Along with de Villiers, he took South Africa’s score past 100 at the half-way mark while taking their partnership into the fifties. Once Jerome Taylor (1-36) held onto a return catch from de Villiers, sending him back for a boundary-less 31 and breaking the 78-run third-wicket partnership, Rossouw, who was made to work for his fifty, reaching it in 74 balls. 

Narine continued from the Media Center End and pulled things back significantly for the Caribbean side with two quick wickets. Attacking captaincy from Holder, who inserted a slip, paid off as Rossouw departed, caught brilliantly by Brathwaite before Behardien was removed leg before for duck. 

Holder (1-37), completed his ninth over with the wicket of Duminy, who chopped a delivery from the West Indies skipper onto his stumps while Narine picked up his fourth victim, the dangerous Chris Morris.

Abbot had his stumps disturbed by Brathwaite for 9 while the final two wickets were snared by Narine, who sent both Phangiso and Tahir back to the pavilion, leaving the young quick bowler Rabada stranded on one.

The second match will be played on Sunday with the West Indies taking on the No. 1-ranked Australia at Providence.

For the full match scorecard, please click here


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