Sunil Narine bagged his best ODI figures of 6-27, as the Proteas collapsed to 188 all out in their tri-nations opener against West Indies in Guyana on Friday.
Spin was always going to play its part in this series, but the Proteas didn’t expect the extent of the damage to be as severe as it was, as they went from a fairly comfortable 160-3 to all out 28 runs later, and Narine, playing for the first time since he was forced to remodel an illegal action, was the architect.
AB de Villiers won the toss and chose to bat first, as all the players involved played their first ever day-night ODI in the Caribbean. The tourists, like the hosts, opted for two spinners in Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso.
Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla strode out as the third SA pair to open together in 50 or more ODIs, and their experience reflected appropriately, strolling past a 50 stand inside the first 10 overs. It would be World T20 star Carlos Brathwaite to find the breakthrough, bowling De Kock for a 34-ball 30. Amla (20) departed just two balls later as Narine’s first victim.
A solid stand was then built by Rilee Rossouw and De Villiers, albeit a slightly frustrating one, as it took a scarcely believable 118 balls for the boundary to be found. It was Rossouw to find the ropes, only for skipper De Villiers to depart the next ball, walking back for a pedestrian 31 off 49 balls.
Rossouw battled on, however, and he certainly enjoys playing against the Windies. He brought up his fourth score of fifty or more against the islanders. Both of his centuries have come against them, too.
That was as good as it got for the Proteas. Rossouw didn’t read a Narine delivery that turned the other way to depart for 61. Then Farhaan Behardien got trapped on the back foot, lbw for a second-ball duck.
JP Duminy was bowled by Jason Holder for 23 in between the Narina onslaught. The spinner picked up three more wickets to clean up the tail, and become the first West Indian spinner to claim a six-wicket haul in ODIs.