David Miller’s 130 not out steered South Africa to 262-8 in the fourth ODI at St George’s Park.
If not for Miller and JP Duminy, the Proteas may well have been dismissed for a sub-200 total. The hosts were put into bat by the West Indies, and lost their first four wickets for just 76 runs. Thereafter, Miller and Duminy worked hard to rebuild the innings, and succeeded in amassing 90 runs for the fifth wicket.
It was an unusually measured innings by Miller, but then the situation demanded a change in tactics. The left-hander came to the crease in just the seventh over, with the Proteas reeling at 32-3. The West Indies continued to bowl well, and when AB de Villiers was caught behind, Miller assumed the anchor role.
The Proteas did well to fight their way back into the contest. However, the West Indies’ wrested back the initiative when Darren Sammy caught Duminy off his own bowling. The timing of the dismissal was key, as it forced the Proteas to adopt a more conservative approach as they moved into the final 10 overs.
Miller surpassed the three-figure mark in the 48th over. His maiden ton in ODI cricket was hard earned, although he still managed to score at a fair rate. Ultimately, it took him 122 balls to reach the milestone.
Once that box had been ticked, Miller reverted to type. Thanks to some clean-hitting by the powerful left-hander, the Proteas added 33 runs in the last two-and-a-half overs. While West Indies captain Jason Holder finished the innings with four wickets, he will lament the visitors’ collective failure to keep the scoring rate down at the death.
The Proteas hold an unassailable lead in series, having won the first three games. They went into this fourth ODI looking to give several fringe players an opportunity to shine.
Unfortunately, opening batsmen Rilee Rossouw (4) and Morné van Wyk (18) didn’t make the most of their chances. Coach Russell Domingo will hope that the other newcomers to the starting XI, namely Wayne Parnell, Kyle Abbott, and Aaron Phangiso, make a statement with the ball in the West Indies’ innings.
FIRST INNINGS SCORECARD
South Africa 262-8 (David Miller 130 not out, JP Duminy 43, Jason Holder 4-53, Sheldon Cottrell 2-39)
West Indies need 263 to win in 50 overs