Dynamic South African skipper AB de Villiers came up with the best from his arsenal. The multi talented batsman had shots of all ranges – a reverse sweep, paddle sweep, dilscoop and many other shots that he invents of his own that the modern day cricket has probably seen.
De Villiers hit World Cup’s second fastest century as his team got back to the winning ways crushing a hapless West Indies by 257 runs in their third Group ‘B’ game at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Giving the best entertainment to the crowd, it was De Villiers who completely turned the tide smashing 162 not out off just 66 balls as South Africa posted World Cup’s second highest total amassing 408-5 in 50 overs.
In an unbelievable scoring pattern, South Africa hammered 224 runs in the last 15 overs with De Villiers doing most damage. Windies were already decimated and their chase fell flat after Imran Tahir picked up five wickets before they were 151 all out in just 33.1 overs – 11 runs less than De Villiers scored in the match.
South Africa had notable contributors from the top order with Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis both making half century but they were heading towards a modest total at 146-3 in 29.4 overs with the dismissal of their Test skipper.
After spending some time at the crease, De Villiers cleared his intentions making 53 off the first 31 balls he face. Then came a whirlwind that swept away the Windies as South Africa kept firing as de Villiers smashed 108 runs in the next 35 balls.
Skipper Jason Holder saw the worst of the day who boasted decent figures of 40-1 from eight overs with two maidens. But he was hit for 64 runs in his last two overs. De Villiers smashed Holder for 34 runs in the 48th over and 30 in the last over as he ended with the figures of 104-1 in 10 overs.
De Villiers’ innings included 17 fours and eight sixes. Amla made 65 off 88, while du Plessis compiled 62 off 70 with three fours. Rilee Roussouw, who shared 134 runs for the fourth wicket with de Villiers, scored 61 off 39 with six fours and a six. Andre Russell and Chris Gayle picked up two wickets each for the Windies.
With a mountain to climb, West Indies pinned their hopes on Gayle, who came into the match after slamming World Cup’s first double century (215 against Zimbabwe) in their previous match, but he fell cheaply for three after being bowled by Kyle Abbott.
Dwayne Smith made 31 off 34 with four fours and a six from the top order, while Holder earned some solace in the match top scoring for the Caribbean with a 48-ball 56 that included four sixes and three boundaries. Denesh Ramdin made 22 off 47 and Jerome Taylor (15) was their next best scorer.
Tahir returned the figures of 5-45 from 10 overs, while Abbott and Morne Morkel had two scalps apiece. The 257-run victory – World Cup’s biggest in terms of runs equaling India’s victory against Bermuda in 2007, lifts Proteas to second in the points table.