Russell to the rescue
All-rounder's fireworks helps Windies end losing drought
PORT ELIZABETH (CMC):André Russell struck a sensational unbeaten half-century as West Indies ended their nine-year wait for a one-day international victory over South Africa by clinching a nervy one-wicket win, with nine balls to spare, in the fourth game of the five-match series yesterday.
The right-hander belted an exciting 64 from 40 deliveries and was one of three batsmen with half-centuries, with vice-captain Marlon Samuels getting a top score of 68 and Darren Sammy, 51 - knocks which helped West Indies overhaul their target of 263 at St George's Park.
West Indies had not beaten South Africa in an ODI since November, 2006, during the Champions Trophy in India, and had gone 16 matches - 15 of these defeats - without a single win.
end of slump
The triumph also broke the Caribbean side's miserable losing slump, which had seen them fall behind 3-0 in the series, following defeats in Durban, Johannesburg and East London, and gave Jason Holder his first win as captain.
Russell's heroics, which saw him strike five fours and five sixes, managed to outshine David Miller's superb unbeaten 130 - his maiden ODI hundred - which lifted the Proteas to 262 for eight after they had been sent in.
South Africa were 76 for four in the 15th over at one stage, but rallied through Miller's innings, which comprised 11 fours and three sixes and came from 130 deliveries.
The Proteas gathered 18 runs off the penultimate over bowled by Russell, but Holder sent down a brilliant last over, which cost just three runs, and earned West Indies two wickets, as the tourists finished well.
West Indies then had their run chase set back early when Dwayne Smith was bowled without scoring off the third ball of the innings from seamer Morne Morkel.
Chris Gayle followed for 10 at the start of the seventh over, with the Windies limping along, driving the first ball of off-spinner Duminy's spell to Farhaan Behardien at cover.
Leon Johnson (18), Ramdin (three) and Jonathan Carter (five) then perished in quick succession, leaving the Windies perilously placed at 73 for five in the 21st over.
Samuels and Sammy came together to post 93 for the sixth wicket, a stand which put the Caribbean side on course for recovery.
While Samuels hit five fours and two sixes off 93 balls, Sammy opened his shoulders to crunch five fours and two sixes off 52 balls, before holing out to de Villiers running back at cover in the 37th over.
Nineteen balls later, Samuels had his leg stump disturbed by seamer Berhardien at 189 for seven in the 40th over.
But Russell assumed responsibility for the innings, picking off sixes at will down the stretch, as wickets fell around him.
The match was still in the balance when Carlos Brathwaite was run out for 11 off the first ball of the 48th over, with the Windies 239 for nine and still 24 runs away from victory.
Russell eased the pressure with two consecutive sixes in the same over, off left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso. And with West Indies needing seven to win at the start of the penultimate over, the Jamaican smashed pacer Kyle Abbott to point boundary and then cleared the ropes at long on two balls later, to seal an emphatic win.
+M van Wyk c wkp Ramdin b Cottrell 18
R Rossouw c Sammy b Cottrell 4
F du Plessis c wkp Ramdin b Holder 4
AB de Villiers c wkp Ramdin b Russell 19
D Miller not out 130
JP Duminy c & b Sammy 43
F Behardien b Holder 12
W Parnell b Holder 12
A Phangiso c Johnson b Holder 0
K Abbott not out 1
Extras (lb2, w17) 19
TOTAL (8 wkts, 50 overs) 262
Did not bat: M Morkel
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Rossouw, 2.2 overs), 2-32 (du Plessis, 6), 3-32 (van Wyk, 6.2), 4-76 (de Villiers, 14.4), 5-166 (Duminy, 36.4), 6-196 (Behardien, 42.1), 7-259 (Parnell, 49.2), 8-259 (Phangiso, 49.3)
Bowling: Cottrell 6-0-39-2 (w3), Holder 10-1-53-4 (w2), Russell 10-1-60-1, Sammy 10-1-46-1 (w1), Brathwaite 10-1-39-0 (w3), Samuels 3-0-19-0, Gayle 1-0-4-0.
D Smith b Morkel 0
C Gayle c Behardien b Duminy 10
L Johnson run out 18
M Samuels b Behardien 68
+D Ramdin lbw b Behardien 3
J Carter run out 5
D Sammy c de Villiers b Parnell 51
A Russell not out 64
J Holder c Miller b Duminy 13
C Brathwaite run out 11
S Cottrell not out 1
Extras (b4, lb3, w14, nb1) 22
TOTAL (9 wkts, 48.3 overs) 266
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Smith, 0.3 overs), 2-12 (Gayle, 6.1), 3-41 (Johnson, 13.5), 4-48 (Ramdin, 15.5), 5-73 (Carter, 20.5), 6-166 (Sammy, 36.1), 7-189 (Samuels, 39.2), 8-218 (Holder, 43), 9-239 (Brathwaite, 47.1)
Bowling: Morkel 9-1-58-1 (w7, nb1), Abbott 9.3-1-62-0 (w1), Duminy 6-0-29-2 (w1), Phangiso 10-1-41-0 (w2), Parnell 10-0-48-1 (w2), Behardien 4-0-21-2 (w1).
Result: West Indies won by one wicket.
Series: South Africa lead five-match series 3-1.
Man-of-the-Match: Andre Russell.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: S Davis, S George; TV - S Ravi.