de Villiers ton hurts Windies

Delhi, India – West Indies opened their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 on the losing end as they succumbed to South Africa by seven wickets on Thursday night at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.

The Windies were outplayed at the Proteas looked efficient in all departments. A.B. de Villiers hit a superb unbeaten 107 as South Africa easily reached 223-3 off 42.5 overs, to win with more than seven overs to spare. De Villiers played shots to all parts of the field and hit eight boundaries and two sixes off 105 balls to seal the victory.

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South Africa lost opener Hashim Amla in the fourth over – brilliantly caught one-handed by new keeper Devon Thomas off Kemar Roach and moments later Jacques Kallis was smartly held by Darren Sammy at slip off spinner Sulieman Benn.

However, de Villiers got stuck in and added 119 runs with skipper Graeme Smith, who worked hard for his 45 before he was bowled by a sharp in-ducker from Kieron Pollard, After Smith fell de Villiers for more good support from JP Duminy (42 not out) and they sealed the win in an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 84 in 15 overs.

During the innings West Indies Vice Captain Dwayne Bravo was forced to leave the field as he injured his left knee trying to save a run. He will have a scan on Friday morning to determine the extent of the injury.

Earlier in the day, left-hander Darren Bravo excited the large crowd with a number of breathtaking shots in a polished half-century on his ICC Cricket World Cup debut. The 22-year-old hit eight fours and a six in 73 from 82 balls to lead the West Indies.

Bravo’s older brother Dwayne supported with 40 at better than a run a ball before he was run out. Opener Devon Smith made 36 on his return to the ODI side, while Shiv Chanderpaul scored 31.

West Indies batting was undermined by Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir. Playing in his first match for the Proteas, he was the most successful bowler with 4-41 from 10 overs. Fast bowler Dale Steyn also bowled well to take 3-24 from 7.3 overs as the last five wickets fell for 19 runs.

West Indies will play their nest Group B match against the Netherlands at the same venue on Monday.

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