Heinrich Klaasen’s explosive century helped South Africa to a stunning four-wicket victory over the West Indies in the final one-day international match. The home team was in trouble at 87 for four while chasing the West Indian target of 260, but Klaasen went all out for his shots and led South Africa to an impressive victory with more than 20 overs to spare.
The two teams had earlier shared the series 1-1 after the first match was rained off. Klaasen, who smashed an unbeaten 119 off just 61 balls, hit 15 fours and five sixes to secure South Africa’s victory in Potchefstroom. He built two vital partnerships during his innings, including a match-clinching sixth-wicket stand of 103 off 62 deliveries with Marco Jansen (43).
Reflecting on his performance, Klaasen said, “It was a good wicket, and it was one of my better knocks.” This was his second one-day international century, and he is now fourth on the list of fastest centuries for South Africa, behind two from AB de Villiers and one from Mark Boucher. De Villiers holds the world record with his 31-ball hundred against the West Indies in Johannesburg in 2014/15.
South Africa got off to a shaky start in their innings, with Alzarri Joseph taking the first two wickets with aggressive, short-pitched bowling. However, the rest of the West Indian bowlers were unable to contain Klaasen’s explosive hitting. The South African batsman was particularly severe on spin bowlers Akeal Hosein and Yannic Cariah, who conceded 49 runs in just 3.3 overs.
The West Indies were sent in to bat first by Aiden Markram, who captained South Africa in the absence of Temba Bavuma, who had a hamstring strain. Brandon King was the top scorer for the visitors, striking 11 fours and a six to make 72 off 72 balls. However, the rest of the West Indian batsmen failed to impress, apart from Nicholas Pooran (39) and Jason Holder (36). The visitors were eventually bowled out for 260.
While the series did not count for the World Cup Super League, Markram said Tuesday’s victory was important ahead of two matches against the Netherlands at the end of the month, which South Africa must win if they hope to qualify automatically for the World Cup. “It’s nice to get momentum going into those games,” said Markram.
In summary, Klaasen’s stunning century helped South Africa secure a comprehensive victory over the West Indies in the final one-day international match. The home team now heads into their crucial World Cup qualifiers against the Netherlands with a boost of confidence.