South Africa ties W.Indies, to Champions semis

West Indies' Marlon Samuels, despite a fine performance, was not able to push his team past South Africa as they tied. (AP/Sang Tan)

CARDIFF — South Africa squeezed into the semifinals of the Champions Trophy and eliminated West Indies after their make-or-break Group B match finished as a tie on the Duckworth/Lewis method when rain brought an early end to play.

Needing a victory to go through, the West Indies were on target to win as they chased 231 off a maximum 31 overs when Kieron Pollard was caught in the deep to put the team on 190-6 after 26.1 overs. With the rain coming down harder, the umpires immediately took the players off and the match was later abandoned, leaving West Indies agonizingly short.

The teams shared a point from the match but South Africa has a superior net run rate over the three games and progresses to the last four with group winner India.

Had Pollard stroked a single instead of getting himself out, West Indies would have still been in a tournament they won on English soil in 2004 because they were ahead of the D/L par score for five wickets down. Instead, he holed out to Dale Steyn off Ryan McLaren’s short ball and his team crashed out.

Chris Gayle (36 off 27 balls) and Marlon Samuels (48 off 38 balls) led West Indies’ charge in attempting to keep up with a required run rate of nearly 7.5 an over.

Steyn, back from a side strain, took 2-33 in six overs.

Earlier, opener Colin Ingram top-scored for South Africa with 73 after the start had been delayed at Sophia Gardens because of steady rain. He moved to a half-century off just 46 deliveries.

AB de Villiers, the world’s top-ranked ODI batsmen, weighed in with 37 and David Miller made 38 off 29 balls in a late salvo that included three sixes.

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