East London, South Africa: Imran Tahir's four-wicket haul led South Africa to a nine-wicket victory over a hapless West Indies in their third one-day international on Wednesday and secured an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
Legspinner Tahir returned figures of 4-28 as the West Indies was bowled out for 122, before Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis hit unbeaten half-centuries to take South Africa to victory inside 25 overs at Buffalo Park.
Amla's 61 not out took his tally for the series to 280 runs for one dismissal, while Du Plessis survived two dropped catches to finish unbeaten on 51.
“The main thing that we spoke about is that in the knockout stages of the World Cup you need to win three in a row,” South Africa captain AB de Villiers said in a television interview.
“We tried to simulate that today, and having won three in a row now I'm happy that we can put in consistent performances.”
The West Indies failed to compete at any stage as it put in its worst performance of the series.
While the pitch was vastly different to the batsman-friendly surface in Johannesburg that allowed 730 runs to be racked up on Sunday, the visiting batsmen stubbornly refused to come to terms with their new surrounds.
After the top order was undone by some smart seam bowling up front, the middle-order batsmen embarrassed themselves by trying and failing to hit their way out of trouble in sticky conditions.
Seamer Vernon Philander got the ball rolling for the Proteas by having both West Indies openers caught behind, including key batsman Chris Gayle for 1.
“My job is to try and strike up front and have them two or three down in the first 10 overs, and today we obviously managed that,” man of the match Philander said in a television interview.
“I thought the wicket was going to play a touch slower but there was a bit of nip and we were able to use it.”
Wicketkeeper De Villiers soon had a third catch when Narsingh Deonarine (10) was surprised by the bounce on a delivery from Dale Steyn, who forced Denesh Ramdin (2) to play on and leave West Indies on 43-4.
Some responsible batting was needed to dig the tourists out of their hole, but top-scorer Samuels (26) was caught at long-off from the bowling of Tahir, Andre Russell (16) was bowled by Morne Morkel attempting a big shot, and Jonathan Carter (18) was trapped lbw by Tahir.
Philander returned to grab a third wicket and finish with 3-27 in eight overs, while Tahir picked up the final two batsmen, finishing the innings off inside 34 overs by having Sulieman Benn stumped by De Villiers for 18.
Rilee Rossouw was the only batsman to fall for South Africa as the left-hander top-edged a Jason Holder delivery and was caught for 7, after which Amla and Du Plessis cruised home with an unbroken stand of 97.