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Proteas romp to convincing win

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

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AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers displays his capacity for improvisation as he puts the Netherlands attack to the sword in Mohali with 130 from 98 balls

Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers compiled contrasting centuries as South Africa clinically defeated the Netherlands by 231 runs in Mohali.

After surviving a couple of early scares, Amla largely eschewed risk on his way to 113, while de Villiers struck 13 fours and four sixes en route to an explosive 130 from just 98 deliveries.

Their efforts, along with a 15-ball 40 from JP Duminy, helped South Africa to 351 for five - the second highest total of the tournament so far.

The Netherlands top order managed to see off the initial threat of pace bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, but duly collapsed to 120 all out and the fourth heaviest defeat in terms of runs in World Cup history.

Imran Tahir finished as the pick of the bowlers for the Proteas with 3-19, while Jacques Kallis and Robin Peterson chipped in with two wickets apiece.

The Netherlands managed to contain South Africa’s openers early on after skipper Peter Borren had won the toss and elected to bowl first.

Amla was fortunate to see an edge off Mudhassar Bukhari fall agonisingly short of wicketkeeper Wesley Barresi moments after a lofted drive had bounced just in front of the fielder of cover.

Perhaps frustrated by a run-rate of around four an over, Proteas captain Graeme Smith was bowled for 20 playing across the line to the gentle medium-pace of Bernard Loots, and Jaques Kallis was caught down the leg side off Ryan ten Doeschate.

But Amla and de Villiers, two of the three leading run-scorers in one-day international cricket in 2010, took charge thereafter with a third-wicket stand of 221 in 29.2 overs.

Amla, favouring the off side, was content to play the anchor role as de Villiers found the boundary with increasing regularity.

The wicketkeeper-batsman brought up his century from 88 balls - to Amla’s 121 - and Loots was thumped for three consecutive sixes as de Villiers accelerated rapidly.

Hashim Amla & Wesley Barresi

Hashim Amla eases to a century of his own to help South Africa to 351 for five - the second highest total in the tournament thus far

He was eventually run out by an accurate throw from long-on in the 46th over, just five balls after Amla had sliced ten Doeschate to Tom Cooper at point.

The Netherlands came in for further punishment in the closing stages of the innings, however, as Duminy thundered four maximums in an entertaining cameo.

Morne van Wyk replaced de Villiers behind the stumps for the Netherlands' reply after the latter suffered a back strain during his innings, later described by Smith as a "niggle".

Steyn and Morkel were unable to make a breakthrough in their opening spells, but the introduction of Kallis reaped immediate rewards as he had Alexei Kervezee caught and bowled for 10.

Kallis was denied a second wicket as Morne Morkel put down a simple chance at mid-on to reprieve Barresi, but the all-rounder struck in his next over when Cooper top-edged a pull to Steyn, running in from fine-leg.

Progress was slow thereafter as Smith turned to his spinners and, although Bas Zuiderent added 35 with Barresi, the required run-rate was soon spiralling out of control.

Zuiderent launced Peterson for a huge six over midwicket in the 22nd over, but fell lbw to the next ball as a flatter delivery rapped him on the pads.

Barresi departed six runs short of a half-century as van Wyk effected a sharp stumping off Duminy and ten Doeschate was trapped leg before by the returning Steyn as the Netherlands crumbled.

The remaining wickets fell in a hurry, with Peterson accounting for Borren and Smith running out Tom de Grooth with a direct hit from square-leg before Tahir ripped through the tail.

“We’re enjoying ourselves so far on this trip,” said Smith, who beat West Indies by seven wickets in their opening game. “We're looking forward to playing England on Sunday.”

“Any time you lose by such a big margin, it's pretty hard to take,” Borren added. “I think we'll learn more playing top quality opposition than playing the Associates. We play India in Delhi next and they are a big team too.”

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