Morne van Wyk stars as South Africa stuns West Indies

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Electric: Morne van Wyk smashed 114 from 70 balls against the West Indies.

Opener and wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk scored an unbeaten century to steer South Africa to a 69-run win over West Indies in the third and final T20 International in Durban to prevent a series whitewash.

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Van Wyk scored 114 not out from 70 balls, which included nine fours and seven maximums, as he steered the Proteas to an imposing total of 195 for three from their 20 overs.

In reply, the West Indies never got going and were bowled out for 126 in 19 overs.

It meant West Indies won the series 2-1 ahead of the first of five ODIs between the two sides on Friday at the same venue.

The visitors won the toss and chose to field and could have rued that decision early on when it took until the 13th over to claim the first South African wicket when Hendricks was caught by Dwayne Smith off the bowling of Kieron Pollard for 42.

By then, South Africa had already passed the 100 mark and the West Indies had to wait until the score was on 158 before they claimed their next wicket when David Wiese was bowled by Dwayne Bravo for 21.

Rilee Roussouw was dismissed for a duck by Sheldon Cottrell the following over, with Jean-Paul Duminy (seven) joining Van Wyk for the last seven balls.

In reply, the West Indies started brightly in their bid to reach the target of 196 but lost their first wicket on 48 when Smith (five) was bowled by Phangiso.

Marlon Samuels (six) departed soon after, caught by Justin Ontong off the bowling of Wiese, before the right arm quick also, accounted for Lendl Simmons for 49. That left the visitors stuttering on 68 for three and they never recovered from that position.

Wiese was the main man for South Africa, ending up with figures of five for 23 from his four overs. 

Justin Ontong, who took over as South African captain in place of Faf du Plessis, said the players were determined to prevent a series whitewash.

“We wanted it more. We let ourselves down in the first two games. We were hungry tonight,” he said.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he was delighted with the attitude of the players during the series.

“I commend the way the boys played this series. Today we wanted to win but we’ll take a series win,” said Sammy.

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Ian Bell back in form with a record 187 for England

Rory Dollard 15/01/2015
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Top class: Bell’s 187 was the highest score by an England batsman in one-dayers.

Ian Bell admits he has fallen short of match-winning efforts too often as an England opener, but is ready to put that behind him after a record knock of 187 yesterday (Wednesday).

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Bell hit 20 fours and three sixes in a 145-ball knock against an Australian Prime Minister’s XI, and in the process registered England’s best score in one-day cricket.

It was enough to settle a highscoring contest in the tourists’ favour, by a margin of 60 runs, and ranks as a sizeable achievement for a player who was sweating for his place in the side weeks ago.

Bell was not required for England last five matches in Sri Lanka before Christmas but earned a recall in the aftermath of Alastair Cook’s departure as captain.

Bell knows a record of three centuries in 150 one-day internationals is not enough for a player of his calibre and intends on changing that for the better in the forthcoming tri-series and World Cup.

“One thing I’ve probably been guilty of in the time I’ve been opening is getting to 60, 70, 80 but never really gone on and enjoyed myself the way I did today,” he said.

“I’ve been guilty in one-day cricket of getting a lot of 50s and not converting enough, but this is what I can do if I bat 45.5 overs or whatever it was.

“I’ve spoken to (coach) Peter Moores about that and I believe I can play at the top of the order for England. The thing is converting starts into match-winning scores.

“Today was pretty much perfect template-wise and that’s how I’d like to play in one-day cricket. If I can do that a couple of times this winter, that’s great for the team.”

Bell was honest enough to accept he was not a certain pick in the first XI, with Twenty20 opener Alex Hales having his supporters and Gary Balance also involved in the 15-man squad. But he has benefited from a vote of confidence from Cook’s replacement as skipper, Eoin Morgan.

“Coming out here I didn’t know where I was going to bat or if I would start, so it was nice to have a good chat with Morgs and for him to say I would get first crack at opening,” said Bell. “That filled me with a lot of confidence.”

Glenn Maxwell, the flashy all-rounder who goes by the nickname ‘The Big Show’, gave watching PM Tony Abbott plenty to smile about with a boundary-strewn century in reply.

The 26-year-old bludgeoned 136 in just 91 deliveries, including 20 fours and two sixes to bring a fanciful chase briefly into the realms of possibility. England can expect to see more of him in Sydney on Friday when the tri-series involving Australia and India gets under way.

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Brett Lee announces retirement

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Brett Lee has been playing for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League.

Former Australian Test bowler Brett Lee will retire from all forms of cricket at the end of the current Big Bash League campaign.

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The speedster made the announcement at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday, having decided before the 2014-15 season this would be his last.

"It's been an amazing and emotional 20 years and I've enjoyed every single moment of it," the Sydney Sixers star told reporters.

"I didn't bother to do the math on it, but it's a lot of ice baths, a lot of training sessions, a lot of cricket balls bowled, there's a lot of flights.

Brett Lee took 310 wickets with the red ball in a test career spanning 76 matches for Australia

"But there's also been a fun."

The 38-year-old called time on his international career in July 2012, but has been a Twenty20 regular – both in the BBL and the IPL – in the years since.

Next Thursday's final-round BBL clash with cross-town rivals Sydney Thunder at the SCG could be his swansong if the Sixers don't win to secure a playoffs berth.

"After this year, there won't be any more cricket," he said.

"I'm excited, I'm emotional, I'm happy, but I'm certainly not worried because I know that I've made the right call.

"I've certainly had a lot more fun in the last six weeks than I've had in my life, because I haven't put any pressure on myself."

Lee remains the equal leading wicket-taker for Australia in one-day internationals alongside Glenn McGrath, with 380 in 221 appearances.

He also claimed 310 scalps in 76 Tests for Australia.

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