GEORGETOWN: “Mystery spinner Sunil Narine took 6-27 and Kieron Pollard followed with a run-a-ball 67 as the West Indies beat South Africa by four wickets in the opening match of the one-day international cricket tri-series here Friday at the National Stadium at Providence.
Narine, returning to international cricket for the first time since being barred due to an illegal action last November, achieved a career-best haul and helped restrict South Africa to 188 off 46.5 overs after the visitors had won the toss.
Left-hander Rilee Rossouw led the Proteas with 61 off 83 deliveries.
Power hitter Pollard then smacked six sixes and two fours as his top-score dominated a tricky chase as the hosts got home at 191-6 with two overs to spare.
Left-armer Aaron Phangiso snared 3-40 and leg-spinner Imran Tahir grabbed 2-41.
South Africa’s spinners put West Indies under early pressure as Tahir grabbed the wickets of openers Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles with googlies and Phangiso added the prize scalp of Marlon Samuels.
When JP Duminy removed Denesh Ramdin, the hosts were in strife at 76-4 in the 26th over.
But Pollard, in the one-day wilderness since the aborted tour of India in October 2014, revived the hosts with a knock that turned the tide.
The 29-year-old smacked three of his first five deliveries over the boundary, to reach 100 sixes in his career, and batted with calm assurance in guiding his team home.
Pollard dominated a fifth wicket stand of 74 off 78 balls with Darren Bravo, who contributed 31 off 69.