South Africa’s national cricket team has drawn the three-match One Day International (ODI) series against the West Indies.
After losing the previous match in East London, the Proteas bounced back to defeat the visitors by four wickets, with just over 20 overs to spare in the third and final match at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom.
Standing in for regular captain Temba Bavuma, who’s out with a possible hamstring strain, Aiden Markram won the toss and invited the West Indies to bat. Led by opener Brandon King, the visitors made a positive, aggressive start to their innings.
King shared in a 39-run opening stand with Kyle Mayers and then a 71-run partnership with Shamarh Brooks on his way to a well complied half-century, his fourth in ODIs.
And at 120 for two, it seemed like Windies were going to post a massive total. But the Proteas bowlers who shared the spoils battled back, taking wickets at regular intervals to help slow down the run-rate.
Nicolas Pooran and Jason Holder were the only other batsmen who put up some resistance, scoring 39 and 36 runs respectively. Seamers Marco Jansen, Gerald Coetzee, Lungi Ngidi and Wayne Parnell took six scalps between them while spinner Bjorn Fortuin finished with figures of two for 46.
The tourists were eventually bundled out for 260 runs inside their 50 overs, leaving the hosts a relatively simple chase.
The Proteas made a poor start to their reply. Seamer Alzarri Joseph struck in consecutive overs, dismissing Ryan Rickelton for three and then following it up with the wicket of Rassie van der Dussen for 14, reducing them to 36 for two by the fifth over.
Markram and Tony de Zorzi looked to take the fight to the visitors’ bowlers but they too departed cheaply in quick succession, and South Africa was in some trouble on 87 for four.
David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen did manage to steady their innings with a 55-run fifth-wicket partnership.
Miller was caught by spinner Akeal Hosein off his own bowling for 17 while Klaasen went on to notch up a half-century from just 30 deliveries. Ably supported by Jansen at the other end, Klaasen continued to punish the West Indies bowlers. He went on to convert his 50 to a match-winning century, his second in One Day cricket from just 54 deliveries.
Jansen eventually became Joseph’s third wicket, departing for a career-best 43 from 33 deliveries. Fittingly it was Klaasen who scored the winning runs. He finished unbeaten on 119, securing a four-wicket win and levelling the three-match series at one game apiece.