Cricket-Klaasen clubs lightning ton as S Africa beat West Indies

Cricket - Third ODI - South Africa v West Indies - Senwes Park, Potchefstroom, South Africa - March 21, 2023 South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen in action REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa (Reuters) - Heinrich Klaasen smashed an unbeaten 119 from 61 balls as South Africa eased to a four-wicket victory over West Indies in the third and final one-day international at Senwes Park on Tuesday, ensuring the honours are shared in the series.

South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl, restricting the tourists to 260 all out.

They got into trouble early on in their reply as they slipped to 87-4, only to cruise to victory thanks to Klaasen's power hitting with an astonishing 123 balls remaining in the innings.

"It’s a pretty good wicket and that is one of my better knocks," Klaasen said at the post-match presentation. "We tried to play to the conditions, not the situation, and I had to fight fire with fire early on against some excellent bouncers from Alzarri (Joseph).

"But the conditions dictate how aggressive you can be and it’s great to get the team over the line."

The home side were without in-form captain Temba Bavuma due to a hamstring injury, and they rested regulars Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje.

The West Indies innings was boosted by a run-a-ball 72 from opener Brandon King, but Nicholas Pooran (39) and Jason Holder (36) were the only two others to post solid scores on an otherwise good wicket for batting.

There were some wild shots from the visitors as they seemed determined to attack every ball, and more patience and concentration might have seen them post a target over 300.

South Africa made a poor start to their own innings, however, as they lost four wickets inside 13 overs.

But then it was Klaasen's time to shine. First he put on 55 with David Miller (17), and then added 103 for the sixth wicket together with all-rounder Marco Jansen, who scored a career-best 43 from 33 balls, before the latter became the third victim for the pick of the West Indies bowlers, Joseph (3-50).

Klaasen reached his second ODI century in 54 balls and saw the innings through to the end as South Africa avenged their 48-run defeat in the second ODI on Saturday. The first game was washed out by rain without a ball bowled.

"They clearly outplayed us today," West Indies captain Shai Hope said. "I thought we batted well in parts but were not good enough with the ball today.

"We only have ourselves to blame. You can’t concede 260-odd in 29 overs."

The teams start a three-match Twenty20 International series in Pretoria on Saturday.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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