Potchefstroom (CRICINFO): Heinrich Klaasen’s second ODI century led South Africa to a series-levelling victory over West Indies in a non-Super League contest. Chasing 261 on a fairly flat surface in Potchefstroom, South Africa were in some trouble on 87 for 4 before Klaasen shared in a half-century stand with David Miller and a 103-run partnership with Marco Jansen, and notched up the fourth-fastest century by a South African to make light work of the target.
The result denied West Indies the opportunity to win their third away bilateral series since 2011, and their first against a team ranked in the top eight. They have also never won a bilateral ODI series in South Africa and last claimed a fifty-over trophy here 30 years ago, when they were successful in a triangular series which also involved Pakistan.
On reflection, West Indies will look at the performance of their middle order, who squandered a strong start – they were 110 for 1 – and lost 6 for 96 between overs 19 and 40. They did not bat out their overs but gave the attack something to defend with 50 runs off the last 50 balls faced. Their bowlers started well against a South African line-up missing Quinton de Kock (rested) and Temba Bavuma (injured) but Klaasen’s clean-hitting turned it into a no-contest as South Africa won with more than 20 overs to spare.
Klaasen was called on after a vicious opening spell by Alzarri Joseph and the departure of stand-in captain Aiden Markram, with a job to do. Joseph sent down a fiery short-ball barrage to remove makeshift opener Ryan Rickelton who fended him to Kyle Mayers at first slip, and No. 3 Rassie van der Dussen who was rushed into the pull shot. Markram saw out the powerplay but then edged a Mayers’ legcutter to Shai Hope to bring Klaasen into play in the 11th over. Nine balls later, West Indies’ successfully reviewed an Akeal Hosein lbw appeal against Tony de Zorzi, that ball-tracking showed was going to hit middle-stump.