press trust of india
Cardiff, 14 June: Kieron Pollard’s wicket at a crucial juncture proved to be the difference as South Africa managed to secure a semi-final berth ~ by virtue of having a better run-rate than their rivals ~ despite their Champions Trophy Group ‘B’ match against the West Indies ending in a tie under the Duckworth/Lewis method, here today. Chasing an imposing 231-run target to win in 31 overs in the rain-curtailed match, West Indies were 190 for six after 26.1 overs when the heavens opened up once again to bring an early end to the decisive game at Sophia Gardens.
Had Pollard not got out after scoring a 23-ball 28, the par for the West Indies would have been 187 for five under the D/L method. But the hard-hitting batsman was dismissed by Ryan McLaren just before rain intervened, dashing West Indies’ hopes of earning a semi-final berth.
South Africa ended with three points from as many matches while the West Indies also finished with the same tally but the Proteas advanced to the knockout stage on account of a better net run-rate. India are the other team to have qualified from Group B after finishing their league engagements with four points.
Marlon Samuels hit a 52-ball 48 to put the Windies in contention ~ after they were reduced to 87/3 ~ before Dale Steyn removed him to dent their hopes.
Earlier, opener Colin Ingram struck a fluent half-century while David Miller played an unbeaten cameo of 38 as South Africa posted a formidable 230 for six. South Africa’s fifth-wicket pair of Miller and Faf du Plessis (32-ball 35) put on display some sensational strokeplay at the business end of the innings and added 68 runs in just 48 deliveries to put their side in the driver’s seat. From 153 for four in the 23rd over, both took their side to 221 for five as the last five overs yielded 52 runs for the Proteas. Miller’s unbeaten knock of 38 was laced with three huge sixes and a four while Du Plessis decorated his useful innings with three fours and a six. Ingram hit 63-ball 73 laced with six fours and two sixes as South Africa were invited to bat first under overcast conditions. The match started three hours and 15 minutes late due to inclement weather.