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Saturday, 26 February 2011






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De Villiers’ IPL knowledge boosts South Africa

AB de Villiers put his Indian Premier League experience to good use on Thursday when he led South Africa to a comfortable seven-wicket World Cup win over the West Indies.

De Villiers smashed an unbeaten 107 and shared a crucial third wicket partnership of 119 with captain Graeme Smith as his side surpassed the West Indies’ total of 222 with 43 balls to spare.

The 27-year-old said his time with local IPL side Delhi Daredevils had allowed him to share vital inside information with Smith on the playing conditions at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.

“My time here helped. I chatted to Graeme before the game and said that the outfield gets very damp at night here therefore it’s better to bat second,” he said.

“It’s really hard to defend a total on this outfield.”

De Villiers hit the fastest ever World Cup century by a South African with his landmark coming off 97 balls.

“I wasn’t timing it in the nets last week, but it came off well tonight,” he said.

Smith, who has been nursing a cold, made a dogged 45 off 78 balls and said he was happy with his team’s overall performance.

“Winning the toss was nice, we started well. Darren Bravo (73) played really well, but we managed to peg it back in the middle,” he said.

“My batting wasn’t the best - I have been a little ill coming into the game, so I just wanted to bat through with AB and build a partnership. AB went faster than run a ball and paced it real well.”

West Indies captain Darren Sammy was disappointed with his team’s batting after they had stood at 113-1 at one stage.

“We had an opportunity to get a lot more runs. We needed someone to play like AB did,” he said.

“Darren Bravo played really well and we hope he can continue. We kept losing wickets in clusters which didn’t help.

“Losing Dwayne Bravo (with a knee injury) wasn’t good. We don’t know the extent of the injury. Hopefully he’ll be OK.”

South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir was also celebrating after enjoying a four-wicket debut, but his World Cup bow was almost shattered by a double warning for running on the pitch. The 31-year-old Pakistan-born player claimed 4-41 but Australian umpire Simon Taufel twice warned him about straying onto the pitch. A third warning would have seen him pulled out of the attack.“I’m not comfortable bowling away from the stumps, but I’m working hard on it,” said Tahir “I want to get it right. I don’t want to get a third warning and not be able to bowl.”



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