South Africa v West Indies, 4th ODI: Andre Russell's pyrotechnics help visitors register their first win
After being comprehensively beaten in the first three One Day Internationals (ODIs), the West Indies finally secured their first win of the 5-match series, on Sunday, when they defeated the hosts South Africa by one wicket in an exciting encounter at St. George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
Chasing 263 for a win, the West Indies were reduced to 73 for 5, before Marlon Samuels and Darren Sammy stitched together a crucial 93-run stand for the sixth wicket. But the innings of the match came from hard-hitting all-rounder Andre Russell, who scored a blistering 64 not out off 40 balls that included 5 sixes and 5 fours.
His crucial partnerships with captain Jason Holder, Carlos Brathwaite and with No. 11 Sheldon Cottrell, a 27-run stand, ensured that the Windies will enter into the World Cup with some confidence behind them.
Earlier in the day, the South Africans found themselves in trouble with the bat after the Caribbean new ball bowlers accounted for the first 3 wickets with just 32 runs on the board. It soon became 76 for 4 when Andre Russell got the big scalp of AB de Villiers for 19, caught by wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin. However, that's when the David Miller show began.
The left-hander, first in the company of JP Duminy and then the lower order, shared key stands and, in the process, notched up his maiden ODI ton and helped his side reach a competitive 262 for 8 in their 50 overs.
It has been a tough tour for us: Russell
Following the win, the 26-year-old Jamaican said that it was a critical win for the side and that there would be some kind of celebrations in the dressing room.
“This is something special. I haven't had a beer in like a month now and I am going to have a beer tonight. Everyone played from ball one today. It's very important for us. Every win is something special in international cricket. And everyone was expecting us to keep losing and South Africa to turn up in all five games and win, so this is very good," Russell said.
"We knew it from the start, we always have the ability to win cricket games but it was about playing the complete game. It was good to get across the line; it does a lot for our morale.
"It's been a tough tour so far. We've lost the series, but it’s about salvaging some pride. I was pleased to see the way the guys came out and won this game today," he added.
South Africa 262 for 8 ( D Miller 130* JP Duminy 43 J Holder 4-53) lost to West Indies 266 for 9 ( M Samuels 68, A Russell 64* D Sammy 51 M Morkel 1-58 JP Duminy 2-29)