Jacobs snatches last ball win for West Indies in first ODI
A full toss from Allan Donald, struck through backward point by Ridley Jacobs, was eventually all that separated the West Indies and South Africa as the home side grabbed a dramatic last-ball victory at Sabina Park to take a 1-0 lead in the seven-match one-day series.
The drama of the final moments was celebrated by an ecstatic full-house, the pitch invasion which followed the winning boundary even forcing umpire Basil Morgan to abandon his attempts to rescue the stumps as he was besieged on all sides.
Despite the low scores, it was a wonderful contest packed with incident and sets the series up beautifully as the players set out on a five-island tour of the eastern Caribbean.
Chasing a modest 201 to win on a good batting track, the West Indies looked to have lost their way when South Africa applied the brakes in spectacular style on the departure of Brian Lara for 54.
Lara and Carl Hooper added 89 for the fourth wicket and as long as they were together the run-chase seemed a matter of routine. But Jonty Rhodes produced the second of two blinding catches at point to end Lara's cameo and suddenly the runs dried up.
The wickets started to fall too. Hooper (43) perished as he tried to slog Roger Telemachus over the top, but by that stage he was already suffering from cramp in both legs and using a runner. Ricardo Powell scratched out six runs before he was run out and Neil McGarrell was brilliantly caught and bowled one-handed by Jacques Kallis as he back-pedalled furiously.
McGarrell helped bring the equation down to eight off the final over with a straight driven six off Kallis in the penultimate over before his dismissal.
After Mervyn Dillon sprinted two singles and Jacobs one at the start of Donald's over, the West Indies 'keeper knew five runs were needed from two balls. He heaved the first round to square-leg for two and then delivered the coup de grace.
This after opener Leon Garrick (7) fell cheaply as he had a frustrated slash at Shaun Pollock and Marlon Samuels (17) followed him in identical fashion having a swing at Kallis. When Rhodes dived to his right to take an absolute blinder to put an end to Chris Gayle's aggressive 27, the West Indies were 60-3.
Earlier, the West Indies produced an aggressive and determined display in the field, the tone set as early as the third over when Lara ran out Herschelle Gibbs (8) with a direct hit at the non-strikers end. The hesitation between Gibbs and Gary Kirsten was only momentary, but Lara's athleticism and accuracy were breathtaking.
With Kirsten and Kallis both looking confident, South Africa reached the 15 over mark on a relatively healthy 67-1.
Kallis (23) is never afraid to use his feet to the slow bowlers but on this occasion he was just short of meeting the ball on the half-volley and instead of smashing it high into the George Headley stand, he saw the ball plucked out of the air by Cameron Cuffy who took a fine catch as he sprinted around the long-off boundary.
Kirsten endured a miserable run in the Test series and needed some luck, but once again it deserted him. After a positive start, he swept at Hooper and gloved the ball back onto his leg-stump to be bowled for 38 off 63 balls.
Rhodes and Neil McKenzie consolidated for South Africa taking the score along to 131 before the middle and lower order buckled and broke.
McKenzie (21) was the first to go, dancing down the wicket to fast-bowler Cuffy and edging to the wicket-keeper. When Rhodes (36 off 53 balls) was trapped on the back foot by McGarrell and Lance Klusener followed first ball, bowled by one from McGarrell which turned through the gate, South Africa were 149-6.
Boucher (14) then dabbed one straight back to Samuels, debutant Justin Ontong (12) was caught at short fine-leg looking to play the most unorthodox of ultra-fine 'chip-sweeps' off Hooper and Telemachus (3) was superbly caught and bowled, again by Samuels.
Pollock was left unbeaten on 26 when Donald was clean bowled by Dillon with the score on a round 200.