Pictures like these can be so misleading. This was when Chris Gayle and Sulieman Benn were celebrating the wicket of Jacques Kallis. Hashim Amla’s spectacular hundred and a last ball victory were lost in the midst of a spat between a captain and his team as West Indies fielded as many as three substitutes in the course of the fourth ODI between West Indies and South Africa at the Windor Park, Roseau, Dominica.
South Africa chased down the target of 304 off the final ball after making things hard on themselves. That South Africa even chased down the target was testament to the quality of the pitch but also, the talent of Amla coupled with some fortune at the benevolence of the West Indies bowlers and fielders.
Hashim Amla’s inspirational rise in the one day format meant that South Africa were comfortably placed to chase down the mammoth target with Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers contributing wholesome half centuries. But the South Africans still needed to bit of scrapwork in the end as they stole a run off the final ball even as Darren Sammy failed to collect the ball and hit the stumps.
South Africa benefitted from a few instances when the West Indies did not really grab onto the chances, a couple of catches going down to Dwayne Bravo and his half brother, Darren Bravo, while at least a couple of fielding lapses could have saved the day.
Earlier in the day, Dale Richards was once again at his belligerent best, making fifty-nine runs in a partnership with Shivnarine Chanderpaul that saw the latter top score with sixty-six runs himself as West Indies were putting the South African bowlers, minus the rested Dale Steyn, under severe duress. The Bravo brothers scored near half centuries to carry further the work but the fact that the West Indies managed to score only 303 was because South Africa were able to pick wickets ideally when the West Indies batsmen should have been capitalizing on their good start.
But the West Indies captain was not seeing the funny side of it. Gayle slammed the bowlers, in particular Sulieman Benn, for not executing plans, “I thought to get to 300 was good, but we still fell short by 30 runs. When I asked the team to do something they can’t actually do it. It doesn’t make sense having them in the team. Sulieman didn’t have an injury. Basically I asked him to do a job and he couldn’t deliver, it doesn’t make sense.”
Gayle admitted he gave marching orders to Benn after the latter refused to bowl round the wicket, “I actually asked him to leave the field,’ Gayle told reporters after the game. “As a captain, it was a situation like you ask a particular bowler to do it and he said he had never done certain things before. That’s why you have practice sessions, to practise. I asked him to simply bowl over the wicket. I don’t see why it should be a problem. He wasn’t up for it and if you’re not up for it, why give that particular bowler the ball. I just see it that he [Benn] doesn’t want to take part. It was my call to actually ask him to leave and tell him that he is not needed anymore.”