Shai Hope launched his captaincy tenure with a 14th One-Day International hundred but West Indies were forced to withstand a remarkable century from South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma before easing to a 48-run win in the second One-Day International yesterday.
The 29-year-old Hope stroked a glittering, unbeaten 128, an innings which laid the foundation for his side’s impressive 335 for eight off their 50 overs—their highest ODI total in four years and highest ever against South Africa.
In reply, the hosts coasted to 184 for two at the half-way mark, behind Bavuma’s 144 from 118 deliveries with 11 fours and seven sixes, but then suffered collapse at the back end, losing their last eight wickets for 103 runs, to be all out for 287 in the 42nd over.
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph bounced back from a poor opening spell to finish with three for 53—including the key wicket of Bavuma—while left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein snatched three for 59 from his ten overs to haul West Indies back into the contest.
The victory was only the Caribbean side’s third ODI win on South African soil in their last 18 attempts over the last two decades, giving them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, and leaving Tuesday’s final game as the series decider after Thursday’s opener was rained off without a ball bowled.
“I think that Temba played a brilliant innings but catches win matches,” said Hope, adjudged Man-of-the-Match.
“We pretty much put ourselves under pressure there at the back end but that’s how it goes sometimes. It’s just nice to see we could pull out a victory in the end.”
West Indies were handed an excellent start by left-hander Kyle Mayers (36) and Brandon King (30), the pair putting on 67 off 51 deliveries.
Mayers struck five fours and two sixes off 26 balls while King counted four fours in a 29-ball knock, before both perished as part of a 11-ball side which saw three wickets tumble for just four runs, to leave West Indies stumbling on 71 for three at the start of the 11th over.
Hope, in at number four, played delightfully from the outset, the captain facing 115 deliveries and belting five fours and seven sixes.
He reached his fifty off 59 balls at the start of the 31st over before accelerating to each triple figures off just another 45 deliveries, with a single to deep square in the 47th over.
Along the way, he put on a critical 86 for the fourth wicket with Nicholas Pooran (39) who he replaced as captain, before adding a further 80 for the fifth wicket with Rovman Powell who blasted 46 from 49 balls with two fours and three sixes.
When Powell played on to debutant seamer Gerald Coetzee (three for 57) in the 38th over, the innings was in need of impetus at 237 for five and Hope stepped up, inspiring a 42-run, sixth wicket partnership with all-rounder Jason Holder (15) and a 42-run, unbroken ninth wicket stand with Joseph (13 not out).
Facing a required run rate of 6.72, the Proteas were given a flying start by Bavuma and Quinton De Kock, the left-hander punching five fours and three sixes in a 26-ball cameo, as part of a stand worth 76 off 52 deliveries.
When de Kock missed a defensive push and was lbw to medium pacer Kyle Mayers in the ninth over, Bavuma held the chase together, posting 47 for the second wicket with debutant Ryan Rickelton (14) and a further 61 for the third with another debutant Tony de Zorzi (27).
Hosein then ripped through the middle and in tandem with Joseph and pacer Odean Smith, ensured South Africa lost six wickets for 54 runs, the innings declining to 238 for eight at the end of the 34th over.
Bavuma produced a masterclass when his side required one, dominating a 49-run, ninth wicket stand with Lungi Ngidi (12 not out) before Joseph finally got him to glove a leg-side catch off a slower ball bouncer in the 42nd over, to snuff out the late Proteas threat.