Kallis and Duminy lead Proteas to cleansweep of Windies
Port of Spain: Half-centuries from Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy helped South Africa complete a clean sweep of their One-day International series with West Indies, when they won the fifth and final match by one wicket here.
Yesterday`s result meant that South Africa have now swept West Indies 5-0 in each of their last three bilateral ODI series.
Kallis, the Man-of-the-Match, hit five boundaries in the top score of 57 at better than a run-a-ball, and Duminy struck just one four in 51 from 75 deliveries, as the South Africans, in pursuit of 253 for victory, reached their target with just two balls to spare on a slow Queen`s Park Oval pitch.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe carried the Proteas over the threshold, when he slapped a wide delivery from Kieron Pollard through cover for four.
"It`s terrific to have achieved this result, and bounce back from the failure at the Twenty20 World Cup," said South African captain Graeme Smith.
"It was an important time for us as a group of people, and it was important for us to regain the faith of a lot of the public back home.”
"I think a lot of the fans back home in South Africa support us through thick and thin, so it is nice to give them all something about which to feel good."
Like last Sunday, the Proteas ran into late trouble, when Charl Langeveldt was caught behind for six off the last ball of the penultimate over to leave the visitors needing eight from the final over.
But Roelof van der Merwe swung the first ball of the final over from Pollard over square leg for four to ease South Africa`s tension before Tsotsobe won it for them three balls later.
"The last few games have been too close for comfort," said Smith. "We have chased on some pretty flat pitches, and West Indies have controlled the games at different times, and we have lost wickets at crucial times.”
"But we have held our nerve. Winning is a habit, and when you get into tight games, and you are used to winning, you are able to limp over the line."
West Indies skipper Chris Gayle admitted that his side were in a bit of a rut.
"We seen to be in a bad habit of losing, and when it comes down to these tight situations in matches, we do not know how to handle ourselves," said Gayle.
"All in all, credit must go to South Africa. They played well. We were beaten fair and square. We had our chances, but we did not make use of them.”
"It`s been tough losing this much. The good thing is we have a few days off to put this behind us, and hopefully, we can get a fresh start in the (forthcoming) Test series."
South Africa had bowled with discipline to restrict West Indies, but Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit the top score of 67 from 104 balls, and Narsingh Deonarine helped himself to a run-a-ball 53 to lead the Windies to 252 for six from their 50 overs.
The visitors then started their chase steadily, but Smith was caught behind of Dwayne Bravo for 12 in the ninth over.
The South Africans then stumbled, when Hashim Amla, who earned the Man-of-the-Series award for his 402 runs, which made him the most prolific batsman in the series, was run out for 45 in the 14th over, and AB de Villiers was caught at deep mid-on of Gayle in the 19th over.
Kallis and Duminy put the Proteas back on course for victory with a stand of 58, but Kallis was dubiously caught behind off Gayle in the 36th over, and Mark Boucher was caught at short third man off Pollard to leave the visitors needing 78 from the last 84 balls.
South Africa lost their way inside the last 10 overs, when four wickets fell for 35 runs from 34 balls, but their last wicket pair held steady.
The two sides now prepare for a series of three Tests, with matches in Trinidad (June 10-14), St. Kitts (June 18-22), and Barbados (June 26 30).
The South Africans start a two-day tour match on Saturday against Trinidad & Tobago at the Frank Worrell ground on the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies.