Port Elizabeth – Following their first win of the series over South Africa in the fourth One Day International at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, West Indies captain Jason Holder says his side have managed to restore some honour.
“We were all about salvaging pride from the series, we were always up for it,” said Holder.
A blistering knock of 64 runs from 40 balls by Andre Russell helped the West Indies chase down a victory target of 263 with one wicket left and nine balls to spare in their innings.
The West Indies had come under criticism after skipping a training session on Friday, but Holder said their approach had always been positive.
“The attitudes were really good and I thought we played a really good game of cricket.”
While Russell was in the middle, Holder had faith in his heavy-hitting all-rounder.
“I was worried when it was down to the last pair, but knowing the expertise of my finisher Russell I was quite hopeful, and he pulled it off for us today.”
South Africa were without the services of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Imran Tahir as the key players were rested for the match, after the series had been clinched in the previous encounter.
Proteas captain AB de Villiers maintained it was the phenomenal innings of Russell in addition to the knocks of Darren Sammy (51) and Marlon Samuels (68) that sealed the result.
“As good as our frontline bowlers are, I don’t think it would’ve been very different today,” said De Villiers.
“It was a couple exceptional knocks from Sammy and Russell towards the end. Those were two knocks that took it away from us today.”
With the West Indies 166 for six when Russell marched to the wicket, De Villiers was still wary of the batting lineup of the tourists.
“They bat low down, and are always dangerous. I never thought they were out of the game. I did think we had it under control and might just sneak it through at the end,” said De Villiers.
Russell struck five fours and five sixes during his match-winning performance.
The sixth wicket partnership of 93 from 96 balls between Samuels and Sammy kept the West Indies in the contest after a poor start with the bat.
Morne Morkel struck with his third ball to dismiss Dwayne Smith as he clean bowled the opener for a duck to set the visitors on the backfoot in the first over of their chase.
Wickets continued to fall until the West Indies fell to 73 for five in the 21st over, before Samuels and Sammy joined forces to mount a challenge at the Proteas total.
In the South African innings, David Miller scored his maiden ODI century as he ended 130 not out from 133 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes as the Proteas posted 262 for eight batting first.
Miller brought up his century off 122 balls in the 48th over, after coming to the wicket inside the first ten overs.
Together with JP Duminy (43), the pair put on 90 for the fifth wicket as the hosts moved towards a defendable total.
Holder was inspirational in his role with the ball as he returned figures of 4/53 from his ten overs.
South Africa were in trouble early as they found themselves 32 for three inside the first seven overs.
Rilee Rossouw (4) was the first to depart, followed by Faf du Plessis also for just four runs. Then Morne van Wyk departed for a 24-ball knock of 18 to complete the shaky start for the hosts.
A brief period of recovery followed with a 44 run stand from 51 balls for the fourth wicket between De Villiers and Miller.
De Villiers (19), however, failed for the first time in the series when he edged to Ramdin off the bowling of Russell as the Proteas were reduced to 76 for four.
It was then the turn of Duminy and Miller to attempt a recovery.
Duminy’s knock came to an end after 68 balls, when he was caught and bowled by Sammy as the batsman chipped the ball straight back towards the West Indian with South Africa left on 166 for five.
Farhaan Behardien was unable to cash-in, coming in with 13.2 overs remaining. Behardien was bowled by Holder for 12 to leave South Africa 196 for six in the 43rd over.
At the end, Wayne Parnell (12) was a spectator in a 63-run seventh wicket stand between he and Miller from 47 balls, as the hosts let loose at the climax of their 50 overs with the bat.