Aiden Markram hit a whirlwind unbeaten fifty when South Africa made an all-out effort to bounce back strongly from their opening defeat and beat the West Indies by eight wickets to secure their first victory in the Super 12 phase of the ICC T20 World Cup Tuesday to secure. Both South Africa and the West Indies started their Super 12 campaign on a losing note. While the Proteas suffered a five-wicket defeat against Australia, the West Indies lost up to six wickets against England. South Africa will next play Sri Lanka in their third Group 1 match on 30 October, while the West Indies will take on Bangladesh a day earlier.
South Africa first withstood Evin Lewis’ (56) initial attempt to limit the West Indies to 143 for eight and then on solid batting performances from Markram (51 not out of 26), Rassie van der Dussen (43 not out 51) and Reeza rode. Hendricks (39) to chase down the target comfortably with 10 balls left.
Contrary to the end result, South Africa did not have the best start in their chase to lose captain Temba Bavuma early after a run-out. But Hendricks, who replaced Quinton de Kock, fell because he did not kneel against racism, and van der Dussen then stabilized the innings with a 57-run second wicket.
After Hendricks’ dismissal, Van der Dussen and Markram then carried South Africa forward to bring the comparison down to 44 of the last six overs. While Van der Dussen held on to one point, Markram played an explosive beat to take South Africa home.
Markram decorated his innings with two fours and four sixes.
Lewis used to set fire to a rapid fire half a century before the West Indies lost the plot to achieve the modest score. Lewis and Lendl Simmons, 16, brought the West Indies on a pilot. The duo scored 73 off 63 balls for the opening standings before the West Indies lost wickets at regular intervals.
Lewis did most of the scoring in the partnership. He showed off his aggressive intent from the start, hitting Kagiso Rabada for a boundary over backward point and then hitting the bowler straight over his head in the next ball.
Next it was Aiden Markram’s turn to defy Lewis’ wrath as the batsman hit two sixes and a four in consecutive balls to score 18 runs in the fifth over. Lewis then smashed Anrich Nortje over the middle, but a ball later the bowler caused a thin lead from Simmons that Henrich Klaasen, wicketkeeper, could not hold. Lewis was in ominous form as he did not spare a single South African bowler.
He raised his fifty in style and swept Tabraiz Shamsi over deep square leg to reach the landmark in just 32 balls. Lewis continued in the same vein after his fifties, beating Keshav Maharaj for a six, but eventually perished a ball later in search of one too many, which knocked Rabada out on a deep midfield. He hit three fours and six sixes during his 35 balls.
Two more quick wickets, somewhat, put a brake on the West Indies’ onslaught after the brilliant start Lewis gave. But Simmons’ stay was a struggle as his innings of 35 balls was the longest overall in terms of balls without a limit in the T20 World Cup for men.
Nicholas Pooran (12 of 7)’s stay was short-lived as he became Maharaj’s second victim, caught by David Miller and then Simmons was cast by Rabada in the next over. Shamsi was set up by West Indies captain Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle and hit the left-arm spinner for a six each in the 16th over.
Gayle’s run-a-ball 12-stroke was cut short by Dwaine Pretorius before Andre Russell was cleared by Nortje in the next over. Shimron Hetmyer was run out a ball later to aggravate the West Indies problems. Pollard made 26 of 20 balls but could not push the score up towards the end.
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