T20 World Cup: Proteas open account, WI still lack flair
The West Indies’ title defence ran into trouble after they succumbed to their second successive defeat in the T20 World Cup. The Caribbean side, who suffered an embarrassing loss in their opening game against England, were handed an eight-wicket thrashing by South Africa on Tuesday.
The Group I contest pitted two teams who badly needed victory to rekindle their semi-final hopes after being beaten in their respective Super 12 stage openers.
South Africa suffered a jolt even before a single ball was bowled as wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock defied a team order to take a knee and sat out the match over what skipper Temba Bavuma called “personal reasons”.
The Proteas, however, kept their focus and managed to restrict the West Indies to 143/8 in 20 overs. Then Aiden Markram’s blistering half-century smoothened their chase and they wrapped up the game with 10 balls to spare.
After being shot out for 55 by England at the same venue three days ago, the Windies put up a much improved batting display on Tuesday.
Opener Evin Lewis smashed six sixes in his belligerent 56 to give the defending champions a decent start. But the others could not make use of the momentum, with captain’s Kieron Pollard’s brisk 26 being the next-best effort.
Dwaine Pretorius took three wickets for South Africa.
The Proteas stuttered early in their chase with Andre Russell removing Bavuma with a direct hit in the first over. But Reeza Hendricks (39 off 30), Rassie van der Dussen (43 not out) and Markram (51 not out) made significant contributions to give South Africa their first win of the campaign.