Thursday, 10 January 2013

South Africa battle to 2-0 lead over Windies

South Africa have gone 2-0 up against the West Indies after a hard fought 4 wicket win in the second ODI at Basseterre. Having bowled the Windies out for just 128, they achieved their target with just 13 balls to spare and only four wickets in hand.

Having won the toss the West Indies opted to bat first and must have had a target in excess of 220 in mind. They made a more cautious start than in the previous match, but it meant they found boundaries hard to find. By the 10th over they had just 33 runs on the board and the pressure finally told on Juliana Nero as she played over the top of a straight ball from Susanna Benade. Opener Staphanie Taylor and Shanel Daley continued the slow progress and made it to drinks after 17 overs with 51 on the board, but Taylor's lack of foot movement was her undoing immediately afterwards as she drove carelessly to short extra cover. She had managed just two boundaries in her 46 ball 29 and had never looked at ease with herself. Daley fell not long after and when legspinner Dane van Niekerk was introduced to the attack the West Indies looked all at sea.

Deandra Dottin, having survived an easy catching chance at midwicket in van Niekerk's previous over,decided she was going to launch the ball over midwicket's head, but her ugly swipe took her off her feet and Trisha Chetty completed a neat stumping. The West Indies were 87 for 4. Skipper Marissa Aguilleira and the young Kycia Knight were the Windies only real hope of a defendable score, but it was not to be. Aguilleira tried to smear the off-spin of Sunette Loubser to leg and missed and Knight walked past one from van Niekerk for another Chetty stumping. Loubser helped herself to three more wickets to finish with 4 for 11 off 8 overs, and the West Indies limped to 128 before they were bowled out in the 48th over.

South Africa could hardly have made a worse start to their run chase, losing both Shandre Fritz and Chetty for 0 to the spin of Daley and Tyalor. In fact they failed to register a run until the 6th over, but with such a low target they could afford to be cautious and skipper Mignon du Preez and all-rounder Marizanne Kapp eased the total to 45 without too many problems. It was a surprise when Kapp fell to a Daley catch off Mohammed. Benade tried to power Shaquana Quintyne away but mistimed the shot and was caught and when du Preez was run out South Africa were in a spot of bother at 58 for 5. But the experienced Cri-Zelda Brits and van Niekerk took the score to 90 seizing on some loose bowling by the West Indies. Brits fell to a sharp caught behind and, had the umpire given van Niekerk out run out as she struggled to make her ground at the bowler's end shortly afterwards, things may have panned out very differently. However he did not and van Niekerk and Potgieter saw the Proteas home.

The South Africans will be confident that they can wrap up this confidence-boosting series win in the Windies. They have looked very business-like in the way they have gone about things, particularly with the ball. Quite where the West Indies go from here or what their approach will be in the next game of the series on Saturday at Roseau is difficult to predict? Their batting has lacked confidence and a straight bat approach. Will they try and blast their way out of this predicament? It is their natural game, but it could hand the series to South Africa if their big guns fail to fire yet again.

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