De Villiers, Behardien take South Africa to 341/6

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Wellington: Skipper A.B. de Villiers (82-ball 99) and Farhaan Behardien (64 not out in 31 balls) powered South Africa to 341/6 in 50 overs against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a World Cup Pool A game at the Westpac Stadium here on Thursday.

Continuing his rich form, de Villiers flayed the UAE bowlers and milked six fours and four sixes. He took his tally of sixes in the tournament to 20 — highest in a World Cup. Australian left-handed opener Matthew Hayden hit 18 sixes in 2007 World Cup.

The 31-year-old skipper forged a 108-run partnership with David Miller (48) for the fourth wicket. That set up the stage for right-hander Behardien to come out all guns blazing.

Barring Hashim Amla (12) most of the batsmen chipped in with crucial contributions. Young wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock (26) even though recorded his highest score in the tournament pressure will increase on him to make way for Faf du Plessis in the quarterfinals.

The 22-year-old left-hander played 45 deliveries and stitched a 68-run stand with Rilee Rossouw (43) before Amjad Javed dismissed the former in the 16th over. Rossouw also didn’t last long and fell in the 19th over bowled by off-spinner Mohammad Tauqir.

With South Africa at 96/3, left-hander Miller joined his skipper in the middle and the duo scored at a good pace. Meanwhile de Villiers scored his 45th One-Day International (ODI) fifty in 54 balls. He and Miller took their team to 198/3 in 35 overs.

Medium pacer Mohammad Naveed went through Miller’s defence and that brought Jean-Paul Duminy (23) to the middle. The left-hander was involved in a 53-run partnership with de Villiers before the latter fell one run short what could have been his 21st ODI century.

Later, Behardien raced to a 27-ball 50. He collected 23 runs in the final over bowled by Javed. With the help of five fours and three sixes, he registered his third ODI fifty as South Africa scored 101 run in the final 10 overs.

For the UAE, Naveed took three wickets, while Javed, Tauqir and Kamran Shazad picked a wicket each.

Brief scores: South Africa 341/6 (A.B. de Villiers 99, Farhaan Behardien 64 not out; Mohammad Naveed 3/63) vs United Arab Emirates.

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