Stunning Heinrich Klaasen century powers Proteas to victory in 3rd West Indies ODI

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Heinrich Klaasen. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
Heinrich Klaasen. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

At JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom

  • Heinrich Klaasen drilled the fourth-fastest ODI hundred by a South African batter to help SA ease to a four-wicket win against the West Indies in Potchefstroom.
  • Klaasen's 54-ball ton, his second in this format, allowed SA to square the series after losing the second ODI in East London on Saturday.
  • Klaasen came in at 73/3, from where he dominated partnerships he shared with David Miller and Marco Jansen that settled the outcome of the game.

Heinrich Klaasen cast aside his Test match frustration to belt an ODI hundred of the highest class that carried South Africa to a deceptively comfortably four-wicket win against the West Indies in Potchefstroom.

Klaasen's second century in the format came off 54 balls, the fourth-fastest by an SA batter, and allowed SA to square the series after losing the second ODI in East London on Saturday.

It was a spellbinding and devastating display of hitting that belied the perilous state of 73/3 that he walked into as SA responded to the West Indies' 260 in 48.2 overs.

Seventy-two of his first 100 runs came in boundaries as Klaasen shared rapid 50-run stands with David Miller and Marco Jansen to make light of what may have been a competitive total if Klaasen (119*) batted with circumspection.

SCOREBOARD | 3rd ODI: SA v West Indies

Instead, the high-octane stands with Miller (55 off 38) and Jansen (103 off 62) settled the outcome in no uncertain terms, with South Africa winning with 123 balls remaining.

SA's batting effort was one of speed, but one that, in due course, will require careful application as per the needs of the team, opposition, and conditions.

There's a clear method to SA's batting madness, but it also required a measure of application that suited the middling target.

261 wasn't a spine-shivering total, but one that can and will lead to a knocking of dressing room knees if the requisite responsibility and application isn't there.

To be fair to the visitors, they bowled with venom, with Alzarri Joseph (3/50) employing the short-ball to maximum effect to get rid of Ryan Rickelton and Rassie van der Dussen.

Rickelton (3) was cramped by a Joseph short-ball from around the wicket that brushed his glove on its way to Kyle Mayers at first slip.

Van der Dussen (14), who was hit on the chin by a return throw from the boundary and in the mid-riff by Joseph, clubbed three sumptuous boundaries before being collected by the Joseph short-ball.

Mayers was the catcher yet again and when he coaxed stand-in captain Aiden Markram (25) into a false drive after setting him up well with three in-swingers, South Africa had slipped to 73/3 after 10.5 overs.

The run-equation was certainly comfortable enough, but the wickets being lost regularly were rather problematic for the hosts.

The alarm bells really started to flash when Tony de Zorzi (21) was trapped in front off Akeal Hosein's first ball, even though the spinner needed a review to prise out his man that saw SA flounder to.

That dismissal saw Klaasen partner with Miller (17), from where the duo embarked on a breathtaking 55-run stand that came off only 38 balls.

Miller was happy to hit two sixes before he gifted a return catch to Hosein (2/49), but Klaasen, who raised his 50 off 30 balls with eight fours and a six, batted with a rare form of belligerence.

Odean Smith (0/32) and Joseph were treated with the utmost disdain, a gesture that was extended to the other bowlers as Klaasen moved to another 50 stand, this time with Jansen as the tall bowler also dealing with the long handle.

Jansen, who played in his first ODI in his hometown, missed out on a 50 when he guided Joseph to Shamarh Brooks at gully off Joseph.

Jansen's stand with Klaasen effectively ended the game as a contest and left the visitors, who thought they were in with a chance, rather bewildered.

A much-changed South African side that had four alterations that led to a captaincy change that saw Markram come in for the injured Temba Bavuma would've been satisfied with their bowlers that saw all six collect a wicket.

The first six overs belonged to the West Indies, with Lungi Ngidi (1/45) and Wayne Parnell (1/30) not quite utilising the moisture in the pitch.

The batsmanship from the two Windies openers was also contrasting, with Brandon King's surety greeted by Mayers' frantic nature.

While King was able to see out part of a one-run 13-ball spell that saw Parnell bowl a maiden over, Mayers (14) was highly strung and when he pulled Jansen's delivery that wasn't quite there for the shot. Ngidi took an excellent running catch at mid-wicket to end the 39-run opening stand.

The end of the opening stand allowed for the Windies' best batting period of the game where Brooks (18) and King were relatively untroubled.

If there was a fault with the partnership, it was how hard they hit the ball to the fielders and stole singles while doing so.

It came as no surprise that Brooks badly judged an attempted single and saw himself being run out by the Markram-Rickelton combination.

Brooks had pushed the ball firmly to Markram at cover, and inexplicably set off for a single.

Even the poor quality of Markram's throw was unable to save Brooks, with Rickelton taking the ball wide from the stumps and breaking the stumps after Brooks slipped in the middle of the pitch.

The Windies may have lost the wicket with the score on 110 but there was a sense that a crucial moment was lost.

Even though King raised his 50 with what was the ninth of the 11 fours and the six he hit, the run-out destabilised him significantly.

It came as no surprise when he lost his wicket 14 balls later for the addition of only 10 runs when he chopped the ball onto his stumps.

His exit meant captain Shai Hope (16), who had an even better platform to work with, needed to bat through and bat deep in a similar manner to his excellent Buffalo Park knock.

He just didn't seem to have the patience that bookmarked his ton from Saturday and, when he picked out Miller at mid-wicket after skipping down the pitch to meet a Bjorn Fortuin delivery, the Windies fell to 152/4 in the 27th over.

He left Nicholas Pooran (39) at the crease, but the breaking of the 32-run partnership was crucial for the home team.

It didn't quite force Pooran into his shell, but it inhibited his ball-striking game significantly.

His cause wasn't helped Rovman Powell (2) inexplicably walked past a Fortuin (2/46) delivery to be smartly stumped by Rickelton.

That left a slightly long tail exposed, even though Jason Holder (36) is a batter of significant ability, and it also didn't aid the Windies' cause when Pooran's hook off Jansen found Ngidi well-stationed at deep fine-leg.

Pooran's loss saw the West Indies slip to 187/6 in the 35th over and. suddenly, the West Indies were in danger of not batting out their allotment.

This fear was heightened when Yannic Cariah (6) feathered one to Rickelton off Gerald Coetzee (2/53) as the visitors subsided to 206/7.

That became 221/8 when Holder was stumped by Rickelton off Markram (1/30) as the stand-in skipper enjoyed a productive spell with the ball.

Hosein (14) and Smith (17) strung together a 23-run stand for the ninth wicket before the former was caught by Ngidi off Coetzee.

The West Indies moved past 250 but when Smith was castled by Parnell, the West Indies' indifferent batting return was put into perspective by Klaasen's whirlwind knock despite their flicker of hope.

Scores in brief

West Indies: 260 (Brandon King 72, Nicholas Pooran 39, Jason Holder 36, Bjorn Fortuin 2/46, Marco Jansen 2/46, Gerald Coetzee 2/56)

South Africa: 264/6 (Heinrich Klassen 119*, Jansen 43, Aiden Markram 25, Alzarri Joseph 3/50, Akeal Hosein 2/49, Kyle Mayers 1/12)

South Africa won by four wickets

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