Narine, Pollard lift WI to Tri-Series win
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (CMC):
Off-spinner Sunil Narine celebrated his return to international colours with a career-best six-wicket haul, while Kieron Pollard smashed a bold half-century to mark his first one-day international (ODI) in nearly two years, as West Indies eased to a four-wicket victory over South Africa in the opening game of the Tri-Nations Series here on Friday.
In a low-scoring day and night affair at the Guyana National Stadium, Narine snared six for 27 to rout the Proteas for 188 off 46.5 overs and Pollard followed up that effort with a run-a-ball unbeaten 67, which carried the hosts to victory with 11 deliveries remaining.
Opener Johnson Charles supported with 31, while left-hander Darren Bravo chipped in with 30.
West Indies were in a spot of bother at 76 for four in the 26th over when Pollard arrived, and he quickly quelled the nerves with his eighth ODI half-century, which included six sixes and two fours.
Significantly, the right-hander put on a crucial 74 for the fifth wicket with Bravo which resuscitated the run chase and turned the tide back towards West Indies.
Earlier, Narine claimed the best one-day figures by a West Indies spinner and the fifth best figures overall as South Africa were bundled out cheaply after opting to bat first.
Banned by the International Cricket Council last November because of an illegal action but cleared to resume bowling in April after rehabilitation on his action, the Trinidadian befuddled the South African line-up with a fine display of off-spin.
Rilee Rossouw top-scored with 61, captain AB de Villiers struck 31 and Quinton de Kock made 30, but South Africa struggled to score on a low surface, especially against Narine and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn.
Nevertheless, they were 160 for three in the 36th over before Narine triggered a middle and lower-order collapse which saw the last seven wickets tumble for 28 runs.