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Records tumble as
SA crushes Windies
breathtaking innings from
record-breaking captain A B
de Villers, South Africa got its
cricket World Cup campaign
back on track with a crushing
257-run win over West Indies at
the SCG yesterday.
De Villiers blasted an unbeaten
162 off 66 balls to help his
side to 408 for five, the second
highest innings total at a World
Cup behind India’s 413 for five
against Bermuda in Port-of-
Spain in 2007.
West Indies never threatened
to get close, losing Chris Gayle
for three in the second over and
crashing to 63 for seven in the
The West Indians were
dismissed for 151 off just 33.1
West Indian captain Jason
Holder top scored with a defiant
56 off 48 balls, having earlier
borne the brunt of de Villiers’
savage late-overs assault, during
which the Proteas blasted 80 off
the last 3.2 overs.
Fast bowler Holder conceded
only nine runs from his first five
overs, but went for 64 off his last
two, to finish with 1-104.
After a couple of early wickets
for recalled quick bowler Kyle
Abbott, wrist spinner Imran
Tahir (five for 45) smashed
through the rest of the order,
claiming his first one-day
international five-wicket haul.
Just over a month ago de
Villiers scored both the fastest
one-day 50 and 100 in history
against the West Indies in
Yesterday he added the quickest
ever 150 to his burgeoning list of
He struck 17 fours and eight
sixes and thrilled the crowd
of 23,612 with his audacious
improvisation, clean hitting and
ability to go either through or
over the field.
The result improved South
Africa’s record at the tournament
to 2-1 and dropped the West
Indies to 2-2.
It was an emphatic response
from the Proteas following their
last-start 130-run mauling by
defending champion India.
Partnerships of 127 off 142
balls between Hashim Amla (65)
and Faf du Plessis (62) and 134
off 76 between de Villiers and
Rilee Rossouw (61 off 39) denied
the Windies momentum after
they restricted the Proteas to just
30 from their first 10 overs.
“Rilee inspired me a bit, the
way he played today,” de Villiers
South Africa scored only five
fours in the first 24 overs, but
finished with 30 boundaries and
10 sixes, as they piled up 214
runs from their last 14 overs.
West Indies lynchpin Chris
Gayle could not deliver, lasting
just four balls before he was
bowled by Abbott, who then
Samuels for a duck.
De Villiers hit the quickest
one-day international century
in Australia and it was the equal
biggest winning margin in a
World Cup game, tying India’s
2007 victory over Bermuda.
He said his team’s performance
represented a great turnaround
after the loss to India.
“I had a nice chat to the guys
before the start of the game
and I really felt the guys were
motivated to play some good
cricket,” de Villiers said.
“It ’s great to see a team like that
hustling around and you can see
their eyes were almost like open,
ready to fight.”
He said he did not feel too well
walking out to the wicket and
admitted to having some fortune
with dropped catches and several
shots not coming off the middle
of the bat.
“ You get into that kind of
mode, it doesn’t happen very
often and it’s quite a good
feeling to feel that you are one
step ahead of the bowlers,” de
“ You get a really good gut feel
for what they are trying to do.”
Holder pointed it had been
West Indies’ first off day with the
bat in the tournament.
“ It was a daunting task trying
to chase 408 runs,” Holder said
“ You have to go hard initially to
try and get the runs and we just
didn’t get any momentum today
He said they could still be a
force to be reckoned with if they
improved their death bowling.
Batsman Darren Bravo has
been ruled out of the tournament
with a hamstring injury he
suffered in New Zealand and a
replacement will be announced
in the next couple of days.
Cool cat Pietersen kicks Cheetahs home
Cheetahs flyhalf Joe Pietersen booted a
late penalty as the South Africans snatched a
last-gasp 25-24 win over the Auckland Blues
in a Super Rugby clash at the Free State
The Cheetahs, who had a bye last weekend,
made it two wins from two games this season
while the Blues leave South Africa still
without a victory after leading 14-12 at half-
Blues captain Jerome Kaino scored on his
100th super rugby appearance to go with
tries from flank Luke Braid and prop Charlie
Flyhalf Ihaia West converted all three tries
and added a penalty but missed a drop-goal
attempt from in front of the posts after the
hooter had sounded.
Springbok wing Cornal Hendricks scored
two tries in the first half for the hosts with
scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius adding another.
Pietersen kicked two conversions and two
penalties, including his last-minute effort
after the Blues had infringed at a line-out.
Cheetahs 25 (Cornal Hendricks 2, Sarel
Pretorius tries Joe Pietersen 2 cons 2
pens) beat Blues 24 (Luke Braid, Charlie
Faumuina, Jerome Kaino tries Ihaia West 3
cons pen). Half-time: 12-14. — A AP
Having lost to the Crusaders and with a
trip to the Chiefs looming, the Highlanders
needed this one.
In the grand scheme of the super rugby
season, it will hardly matter in which fashion
the victory at Forsyth Barr Stadium was
attained, just as long as four points were
added to the scoreboard.
Which is a good thing because it was not
pretty. The Highlanders were far from alone
in taking blame for that fact — just like the
tango, street brawls require two participants
but early-season rust was certainly still
inflicting the southern men.
Slow starters in their season-opening defeat
against the Crusaders, the Highlanders failed
to show an increase in quality that last week
marked many sides’ performances during
their second matches.
They battled to keep ball in hand for
consistent stretches, they were seriously
lacking a clinical edge and they gave up too
many penalties. But, again, they were not
alone, and the Reds showed at times just why
the Brumbies put 47 points on them in week
The deficiencies more obvious than
abilities, the last thing the game needed was
a troublesome scrum. But it was a complete
shambles, from both sides, and even referee
Glen Jackson was describing the set piece in
those unflattering terms by the end of the
Jackson was probably pleased to blow the
full-time whistle and the Highlanders were
absolutely pleased to walk away with their
first win over the Reds since 2009.
There were positives for the Highlanders,
particularly in the way they survived
early periods of pressure from the Reds
and learned to neutralise the opposition’s
strengths. They were initially spending too
much time at the wrong end of the field but
made the requisite in-game adjustments to
earn something resembling supremacy as the
game wore on.
Scoreboard pressure helped — with Marty
Banks making the most of his first start to
nail three penalties of varying degrees of
difficulty — as did the reduction of some of
their more natural attacking tendencies.
Having struggled to make any inroads into
the Reds’ defence, the Highlanders chose
instead to keep things close around the
fringes, find better field position and limit
the Reds’ opportunities to attack. It rendered
much of the match a messy affair, with the
Highlanders missing a spark and the Reds
lacking possession, but the home side would
have been thrilled to keep the opposition to
a solitary try.
Especially after the way the Reds began the
game, with James O’Connor quickly taking
command on debut to help his side enjoy
success hitting at pace, let down only by a
combination of handling errors and timely
turnovers from the Highlanders.
The Reds were not to be denied for long,
though, and Jake Schatz took advantage
of another ugly scrum to cross early in the
second spell. It was the try the game needed
but it did little to alter the complexion, with
the Highlanders going back in front through
another Banks penalty. Neither side was able
to maintain possession and build pressure,
leaving the game seemingly set to be decided
by the boot.
But the injection of a new Highlanders
halves combination added immediate impact
and Waisake Naholo displayed the step, the
speed and the strength needed to breach the
Reds’ line and decide the match.
Highlanders 20 (Naholo try; Banks 4
pens, Parker pen) beat Reds 12 (Schatz try;
O’Connor 2 pens, con). Half-time: 9-3.
Highlanders in ugly
win over Reds
This has been some road trip for the
Following wins against the Lions and the
Bulls, Chris Boyd’s side made it three from
three with a 42-13 victory over the Western
Force in Perth early today. After starting the
season in South Africa, the stop at Perth
looked like a potential banana-skin game for
Many New Zealand sides have fallen into
the trap of switching off against the Force
on the way home from the Republic but the
Hurricanes stressed they had spoken about
remaining on task during their preparation.
Tight defence is fast becoming the hallmark
of Hurricanes’ performances in 2015 and the
Force was smothered throughout the contest,
were unable to break the visitors down.
A four-try bonus point capped a big day out
for the Wellington-based franchise which
will enjoy a bye next week.
Boyd made a healthy dose of changes to
his side for the game as he aimed to keep the
squad fresh with a long season ahead but not
all of the switches were planned.
Versatile for ward Blade Thomson was a late
scratching for the Hurricanes, which gave
lock Mark Abbott his third consecutive start
of the season.
Abbott marked the contest with his first
try in super rugby during the opening spell,
which followed an earlier effort from Cory
Jane as the Hurricanes took a 15-6 lead to
Assistant coach John Plumtree, who has
taken over the for wards and defence at the
Hurricanes, has his big men firing.
They are playing with fluidity and the skills
on show from members of their tight five like
Abbott and hooker Dane Coles belies their
Coles led the Hurricanes for the first
time during today’s game as regular skipper
Conrad Smith was rested.
Ill-discipline is still a concern for the
Hurricanes and it will surely be a focus in
the coming weeks for Boyd and his coaching
Barrett ’s right foot kept the scoreboard
ticking over during the second half and when
No 8 Victor Vito scored on the hour-mark
the result was settled.
Julian Savea was a constant threat to the
Force with his dominant running game and
he bustled his way to a try of his own late in
proceedings as the score climbed.
Importantly for Boyd, he was able to give
utility back James Marshall a run at first-
five in place of Barrett, who will need to be
rested at some point this season due to the
requirement for All Blacks to miss two games
to keep fresh in World Cup year.
Marshall added a try of his own and
converted it during the final act of the
“ I’m just really proud of the boys with the
way we turned up; the attitude was right,”
Coles said after the game. “ We’ve got a lot
of belief in our side.” After returning from
the bye, the Hurricanes will host the Blues in
Palmerston North on March 13.
Hurricanes 42 (Cory Jane, Mark Abbott,
Victor Vito, Julian Savea, James Marshall
tries; Beauden Barrett 3 pen, 2 con, Marshall
2 con) beat Western Force 13 (Mitch Scott
try; Zack Holmes pen, Luke Burton pen,
con). Half-time: 15-6. — NZ ME
Hurricanes blow away Force
South Africa’s A B de Villiers, right, shakes hands with West Indies player Chris Gayle after
finishing the innings during their Cricket World Cup match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
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