Decades-long wait continues for Windies
Caribbean men come up short as Proteas grab share of series
POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa (CMC):
WEST INDIES’ gallant bid for their first One-Day International series win over South Africa in three decades fell flat here on Tuesday when they slumped to a four-wicket defeat at Senwes Park.
Defending 260 in the series finale after Brandon King top-scored with a run-a-ball 72, West Indies lost their discipline with the ball, allowing the Proteas to speed to their target in the 30th over with Man-of-the-Match Heinrich Klaasen carving out a brilliant, unbeaten 119 off 61 deliveries.
The visitors were in with a shout when the outstanding Alzarri Joseph struck twice early to reduce the run chase to 36 for two in the fourth over, and again when the innings slipped to 87 for four in the 13th over.
But Klaasen proved the difference, blasting 15 fours and five sixes and combining with David Miller (17) in a 55-run fifth-wicket stand and then with Marco Jansen (43) in a 103-run sixth-wicket partnership, to erase any chance of a West Indies win.
Joseph earned three for 50 with his pace while left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein ended with two for 49, but the West Indies attacked proved expensive, seamer Jason Holder leaking nearly nine and a half runs per over from his seven-over spell and pacer Odean Smith and leg-spinner Yannic Cariah both also sending down costly overs.
“They clearly outplayed us today. I thought we batted well in parts but definitely didn’t execute with the ball,” said captain Shai Hope.
“We just didn’t hit our straps. We have ourselves to blame. In a situation like this, we can’t expect to concede  in 29 overs so we have ourselves to blame here.”
He added: “I still thought we were in the game [after posting 260] but again, we didn’t bowl as well as we needed to.”
The hostile Joseph gave West Indies the ideal start, forcing Ryan Rickelton (3) to fend a snorter to Mayers at first slip in the third over before getting Rassie van der Dussen caught by Mayers running around behind the keeper after the batsman gloved another short ball in the fifth over.
Markram (25), leading the side in place of the injured Temba Bavuma, propped up the innings in a 37-run stand with Tony de Zorzi (21) but when both perished in the space of nine balls with 14 runs added, the game was wide open once again.
The right-handed Klaasen took the game away, however. He launched a calculated attack on the West Indies bowlers en route to his half-century off 30 balls in the 19th over, before reaching his second ODI hundred in the 27th over off just 54 balls – the fourth fastest by a South African.