Cricket

Tahir bowls South Africa to victory

WHAT A FEELING! South African bowler Imran Tahir celebrates their victory after dismissing the last West Indeis batsman Sulieman Benn.

WHAT A FEELING! South African bowler Imran Tahir celebrates their victory after dismissing the last West Indeis batsman Sulieman Benn.   | Photo Credit: JEWEL SAMAD

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The leg-spinner returns best-ever figures by an SA bowler in ODI cricket

Imran Tahir wrote his name in the record books as South Africa completed a comprehensive 139-run victory over the West Indies in the sixth match of the Tri-Nation ODI series on Wednesday.

Defending a formidable 343 for four, the leg-spinner feasted on an inept Caribbean batting effort with outstanding figures of seven for 45 off nine overs, the best-ever returns by a South African bowler in the history of ODI cricket.

Along the way, Tahir, in his 58th match, surpassed Morne Morkel as the fastest South African to 100 ODI wickets in terms of matches played.

“I’m really grateful for how things worked out for me today,” said a delighted Tahir.

Earlier, Hashim Amla’s 23rd ODI hundred highlighted a domineering batting effort from the Proteas.

Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi (two for 41) then extinguished the West Indian reply after a bright opening start, Tahir’s record harvest including three in one over as the hosts were dismissed for 204 off 38 overs.

Tahir and Shamsi effected the breakthrough after the rousing start of 69 in less than ten overs by openers Johnson Charles (49) and Andre Fletcher (21).

Only 24 from Marlon Samuels represented any form of resistance to the spinners.

By virtue of the margin of victory, A.B. de Villiers’ team moves to the top of the standings on ten points, one ahead of Australia and two more than the West Indies.

Competition shifts to Barbados for the final three preliminary matches, beginning with South Africa versus Australia on June 19 at Kensington Oval, ahead of the final at the same venue a week later.

Amla’s 110 came off 99 balls and included 13 boundaries, set the Proteas on their way to the formidable total in partnership with Quinton de Kock. The left-hander contributed 71 in an opening stand of 182.

Their partnership established a new record for the first wicket in an ODI at the venue, eclipsing the previous standard of 160 set by former South African captain Graeme Smith and de Villiers against Australia in the 2007 World Cup. All-rounder Chris Morris belted 40 off 26 deliveries. However it was Faf du Plessis who stole the show, blazing an unbeaten 73 off just 50 balls with with six fours and two sixes.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:11:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/Tahir-bowls-South-Africa-to-victory/article14426013.ece

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