de Villiers prospers as Windies sink to new depths
Ten overs into the game, West Indies would have been very happy with their performance in the field - South Africa had managed just 36 and had lost their captain to a wild slog. Then AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis took over, and from then only one team did all the running.
de Villiers and Kallis laid the foundation for a huge score, and the partnership between Herschelle Gibbs and Mark Boucher finished off the job quite splendidly, adding a mind-boggling 134 in the last ten overs. West Indies were also badly hurt by the last two Powerplays: they leaked 50 in the second one, from overs 11 to 15, while the third one - delayed, quite inexplicably, till the 45th over - cost them a whopping 77.
|First 10 overs||11-40 overs||Last 10 overs|
|36 runs, 1 wicket||186 runs, 1 wicket||134 runs, 2 wickets|
The 170-run stand between de Villiers and Kallis was exceptional for the way in which they shared the strike and the run-scoring responsibilities - Kallis faced one ball more than de Villiers, and scored five fewer runs. Neither batsman played too many dot balls, which meant there was little respite for the bowlers. The result was a partnership which is the highest for the second wicket for South Africa in World Cups, going past the previous record of 116 between Hansie Cronje and Gary Kirsten against UAE in 1996. It's also the highest second-wicket stand against West Indies in World Cups, breaking a record which stood for 28 years - Zaheer Abbas and Majid Khan had added 166 at The Oval in 1979.
|Batsman||Dot balls||1s||2s/ 3s||4s/ 6s||Runs/ Balls|
|AB de Villiers||37||31||7/ 1||8/ 1||86/ 85|
|Jacques Kallis||41||26||11/ 1||6/ 1||81/ 86|
Kallis has often been criticised for scoring slowly and allowing bowlers to dominate, but that clearly wasn't the case today - off the 69 good-length balls he faced, he scored 65 runs. Both Kallis and de Villiers attacked the bowling regardless of the length - they smashed ten fours and two sixes off good-length deliveries - and the intent to attack clearly threw the West Indian bowlers off their rhythm.
|Full length||22||20||2/ 0|
|Good length||135||125||10/ 2|
The star of the show was de Villiers, who notched up his maiden ODI hundred. His scores in the World Cup read 0, 62, 92, 0, 0, 15, and 146, which suggests that he has a 75% chance of getting at least a half-century when gets off the mark. Most of the West Indian bowlers struggled to keep him in check, but the two who did were Corey Collymore and Ian Bradshaw: in 54 deliveries from them, de Villiers only scored 30 (3.33 per over); against the rest, he slammed 116 runs from 76 balls (9.16 per over).
This was the seventh ODI hundred against West Indies in World Cups, and interestingly, three have been scored in this tournament, with de Villiers emulating Sanath Jayasuriya and Matthew Hayden. Here's further proof of just how far the West Indian bowling has fallen: they've conceded 300-plus runs three times in this tournament, while the 356 scored by South Africa - their highest in World Cups - is the most number of runs scored against West Indies in ODIs.