An explosive 54-ball hundred from Heinrich Klaasen powered South Africa to a crushing four-wicket win in the third and final ODI against West Indies at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom on Tuesday (March 21). The result meant that the three-match series ended 1-1.
South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl, restricting the tourists to 260 all out.
They got into trouble early on in their reply as they slipped to 87-4, only to cruise to victory thanks to Klaasen’s power hitting with an astonishing 123 balls remaining in the innings.
“It’s a pretty good wicket and that is one of my better knocks,” Klaasen said at the post-match presentation.
“We tried to play to the conditions, not the situation, and I had to fight fire with fire early on against some excellent bouncers from Alzarri (Joseph).
“But the conditions dictate how aggressive you can be and it’s great to get the team over the line.”
Earlier in the day, West Indies posted a middling total of 260 that was largely built around Brandon King’s fifty with small contributions from Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder.
The platform was set for another big score with King driving the innings to a comfortable position of 110/1 inside the 20-over-mark.
That’s when Shamarh Brooks got run out, slipping mid-pitch while trying to abort a single. King fell soon after and thereafter, the innings witnessed wickets at regular intervals.
South Africa made a poor start to their own innings, however, as they lost four wickets inside 13 overs.
But then it was Klaasen’s time to shine. First he put on 55 with David Miller (17), and then added 103 for the sixth wicket together with all-rounder Marco Jansen, who scored a career-best 43 from 33 balls, before the latter became the third victim for the pick of the West Indies bowlers, Joseph (3-50).
Klaasen reached his second ODI century in 54 balls and saw the innings through to the end as South Africa avenged their 48-run defeat in the second ODI on Saturday. The first game was washed out by rain without a ball bowled.
“They clearly outplayed us today,” West Indies captain Shai Hope said. “I thought we batted well in parts but were not good enough with the ball today.
“We only have ourselves to blame. You can’t concede 260-odd in 29 overs.”
The teams start a three-match Twenty20 International series in Pretoria on Saturday.