Smith guides South Africa to 8-wicket win in first ODI

Associated Press

Kingston, May 8:

Disgruntled captain Graeme Smith smacked a run-a-ball 103 in guiding South Africa to an eight-wicket romp over West Indies with five overs to spare in the opening one-day cricket international on Saturday.

Smith shared an opening stand of 131 with Boeta Dippenaar in a victory total of 255 for two off 45 overs at Sabina Park. West Indies batted first after winning the toss, and was bowled out for 253 off 48.5 overs. Ramnaresh Sarwan top-scored with 72. Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini took four for 40 to head the South African attack.

Smith showed his displeasure against the home side on the pitch with his fourth ODI century, spiced with 13 boundaries. Bravo conceded 34 runs in four overs.

Dippenaar hit 56 while Jacques Kallis (51 not out) and Herschlle Gibbs (40 not out) put the finishing touches on the chase. Dippenaar cracked seven fours and one six off 68 balls. He was bowled by part-timer Wavell Hinds. Smith fell just after completing his fourth century in his last eight ODIs. He was caught behind off medium pacer Dwayne Smith.

Kallis finished the match with his only two fours, off successive balls from Bravo. The right-hander faced 68 balls.

Earlier, Ntini lifted the visitors with the early dismissals of the openers Wavell Hinds (5) and Chris Gayle (26). When Brian Lara flicked Andre Nel hard but straight to deep square leg at 8, the West Indies was placed at 56-3. But the West Indies was pulled back by Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who added 106 for the fourth wicket.

Chanderpaul fell one short of a half-century when Ntini returned and induced a wicketkeeper’s catch. He hit four fours and a six.

Dwayne Smith boosted the lower order with four fours and two sixes in 46 off 37 balls. Nel took 2-43 while Langeveldt claimed 2-41.