Windies suffer 5-0 whitewash at skill of Proteas: Digicel ODI Update

It came down to the very last over. South Africa were stripped to their last pair of batsmen but the West Indies could not prevent a 5-0 Digicel Series whitewash in fading light at Trinidad’s Queen’s Park Oval on Thursday afternoon. Such has been their luck, or lack thereof.

With seven runs needed from the last over which was bowled by Kieron Pollard (in the injury-forced absence of Jerome Taylor who had to leave the field), all rounder, Roelof van der Merwe, smashed the first ball for four. South Africa then required three runs from five deliveries to get to 253 for victory. Pollard was lucky that his next effort was not declared a wide by umpire, Daryl Harper. The third delivery resulted in a single and last man, Lonswabo Tsotsobe – who had not batted all series long – came into strike.

Chanderpaul Cuts Botha

Chanderpaul Cuts Botha

Pollard needed the wicket for a Windies win. Tsotsobe needed not do anything silly. Two singles would have been enough. Such was the confidence of the lanky fast bowler – facing his very first delivery of the match – that he cracked a booming cover drive which sliced its way to the boundary rope to formalize the win and the clean sweep. The end typified the series. South Africa – 255 for 9 from 49.4 overs and won by one wicket.

West Indies batted first and made 252 for 6 on the back of a responsible and patient fifty from their top batsman – Shivnarine Chanderpaul – and a more hurried effort of 53 from Narsingh Deonarine, his junior Guyanese countryman and batting lookalike.

Chanderpaul required 104 balls to anchor the innings with his top score of 67, while Deonarine’s effort was a run-a-ball as he notched three fours and a six, to Chanderpaul’s four boundaries.

Dwayne Bravo added 26 before he was bowled in identical fashion to the previous game by Tsotsobe and Pollard – in typical rapid-fire mode – hammered 25 from 19 balls. The Windies total was modest but, on a wearing pitch upon which batsmen needed to exercise caution and circumspection, it was competitive, challenging even.

Tsotsobe celebrates Richards catch

Tsotsobe celebrates Richards catch

Save for their captain, Graeme Smith (who fell to Bravo for a third time on the trot), the Proteas batting line-up has been in top form post-ICC World Tnwety20 when they crashed out before the semis.

Hashim Amla – the undisputed Man of the Series – took his run tally for the five matches past 400 (402 runs at an average of 80.4) with 45 before he was run out. It looked to be the only way the Windies were able to extract him.

Bravo bowls Tsotsobe

Bravo bowls Tsotsobe

Jacques Kallis – the Man of the Match – struck a no-nonsense 57 from a mere 55 balls and reached the boundary on five occasions. When he was in, the South Africans were coasting but his dismissal came at 163 for 4 in the 31st over. Thereafter five wickets slipped away, including three in the 48th and 49th overs to cause some nervous tension in the Proteas camp.

Jean Paul Duminy’s 51, from 75 balls with a solitary boundary was a becalming innings which brought the visitors within reach before the tailenders, kept a cool head, to put the match to bed.

As the tension floated in the last over, Tsotsobe calmed all down when he stroked the ball just in front the Trini Posse Stand where eager Windies supporters were hoping for a different result to heighten their cavorting and bachannaling which had been going on – as per normal practice – all day in the heat of the sun and the humidity of Port of Spain.

The Windies have not been able to put together a single win against South Africa this series despite creating – what their Head Coach Ottis Gibson – said were opportunities to win. They have now lost both Digicel Twenty20s and all five Digicel ODIs. Three Digicel Tests remain. When one examines the recent history of Test cricket between the two sides, the home boys will be struggling for oh-so-desperately-needed inspiration. They have a few days to work something out. The Test starts on June 10th, also at the Queen’s Park Oval.

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