Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers scored hundreds as South Africa defeated West Indies by 66 runs in their rain-affected one-day international.
Amla anchored the top half of the South African batting with 102 from 109 balls, and de Villiers kept the momentum going with the same score from 101 balls, as the Proteas, put in to bat, reached 280 for seven from their rain-reduced 48 overs on a slow Vivian Richards Cricket Ground pitch on Saturday.
South Africa then dismissed West Indies, who had been set a Duckworth/Lewis target of 288, for 215 in 44.1 overs to clinch a 1-0 lead in the five-match series, which continues on Monday at this venue.
Morne Morkel was the most successful South African bowler with three wickets for 40 runs from eight overs, while Dale Steyn, Ryan McLaren, and Johan Botha collected two wickets apiece.
“We want to play well, and we want to win this series,” said South Africa captain Graeme Smith.
“We want to have a very successful tour of the Caribbean.
I have said this a number of times. We have a lot of bouncing back to do, following the Twenty20 World Cup, and we want to do it well.”
“This is just the first match, and the matches are very close together, so recovery is going to be important to us being successful.”
West Indies captain Chris Gayle, whose 45 from 39 balls was the home team’s top score, felt let down by the batting again.
“It’s one of those things that we can’t seem to catch a break with our batting, so we will have to go back to the drawing board,” said Gayle.
“We are not going to give-up. We know that we are not playing good cricket now.”
Steyn set West Indies back early, when he had Andre Fletcher caught at slip for four in the third over.
South Africa were put on the defensive, however, when Gayle gave West Indies a typically flourishing start.
Ryan McLaren had Dwayne Bravo caught behind for 15, and Morkel had Gayle caught in the deep to leave West Indies 69 for three in the 13th over.
The South Africans then saw Ramnaresh Sarwan make 38, and left-handed compatriot Narsingh Deonarine get 26 to stage a recovery with a stand of 61 for the fourth wicket.
Botha made the breakthrough in the 27th over, when Deonarine top-edged a sweep, and was caught at backward square leg, and Morkel bowled Sarwan, as West Indies slipped to 140 for five.
Kieron Pollard joined Denesh Ramdin, and they put on 52 for the sixth wicket.
Steyn returned for another spell, and bowled Ramdin for 17, when the batsman chopped on, and West Indies lost their last five wickets for 23 runs from 35 deliveries.
Amla, later named man-of-the-match, reached his second ODI hundred from 106 balls, when he steered a short, rising delivery from Pollard to third man for a single in the 33rd over.
De Villiers later reached his seventh ODI hundred from 99 balls, when he dragged a delivery from Ravi Rampaul through mid-on for a single in the 44th over.
They added 129 for the third wicket, after play started half-hour later than scheduled, and a near half-hour stoppage for rain further marred the match.
Amla put on 53 for the first wicket with Smith either side of the rain break before the Proteas’ captain edged a flat-footed drive, and was caught behind for 18 in the seventh over off Bravo, who also had Jacques Kallis caught at third man for one to leave South Africa 57 for two.
After de Villiers added 54 for the fourth wicket with left-hander JP Duminy, South Africa lost four wickets for 40 runs from the last 41 deliveries of their innings.
Bravo was the most successful West Indies bowler with three wickets for 40 runs.