South Africa outclassed West Indies in all three departments to bounce back strongly from their opening defeat and secured an eight-wicket win in Dubai on Tuesday (October 26). Meanwhile, defending champions West Indies have lost both their games and will need something special in the remaining matches if they want to qualify for the knockouts.
Both South Africa and West Indies started their Super 12 campaign on a losing note. While the Proteas were handed a five-wicket defeat by Australia, West Indies sank to six-wicket loss against England.
Asked to bat, Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons added 73 runs for the opening wicket but it was the former who did all the scoring. The left-hander smashed three fours and six maximums in his 35-ball 56, while Simmons could never get going. The right-hander wasted 35 balls for his 16 runs. Nicholas Pooran (12), Chris Gayle (12) and Kieron Pollard (26) all got decent starts but couldn't convert it into something substantial. Anrich Nortje (1/14), Kagiso Rabada (1/27) and Keshav Maharaj (2/24) were superb, while Dwaine Pretorius (3/17) too did a great job at the death.
In reply, Temba Bavuma was run out in the first over but Reeza Hendricks (30-ball 39) took the attack to West Indies and scored the majority of the runs in the powerplay. Rassie van der Dussen (51-ball 43*) kept the one end intact but Aiden Markram (26-ball 51*) looked in supreme touch from the word go and took the game away from West Indies with his superb strokeplay.
Earlier, Lewis smashed a quickfire half-century before West Indies lost the plot to manage a modest score. Lewis did the bulk of the scoring in the partnership with Simmons. He showed his aggressive intent from the beginning, hitting Kagiso Rabada for a boundary over backward point and then lofted the bowler straight over his head in the next ball.
Next it was Markram's turn to face Lewis' wrath as the batter struck two sixes and a four in successive balls to garner 18 runs in the fifth over. Lewis then slammed Nortje over mid-off but a ball later the bowler induced a thin edge from Simmons which wicket-keeper Henrich Klaasen failed to hold.
Lewis was in ominous form as he didn't spare a single South Africa bowler. He brought up his fifty in style, slog sweeping Tabraiz Shamsi over deep square-leg to reach landmark in just 32 balls.The left-hander continued in the same vein after his fifty and clobbered Keshav Maharaj for a six but finally perished a ball later in search of one too many, holed out to Rabada at deep midwicket.
He struck three fours and six sixes during his 35-ball knock. Two more quick wickets, somewhat, put a brake on West Indies' charge after the brilliant start given by Lewis. Meanwhile, Simmons continue to struggle big time. In T20 WC, among batsmen who have faced 30+ balls, only three batters have struck at less than 50. Simmons at 46.7, joined Alok Kapali (40) and Majid Haq (45.2).
Nicholas Pooran's stay was shortlived as he became Maharaj's second victim, caught by David Miller and then Simmons was castled by Rabada in the next over. Shamsi was taken to task by West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle, hitting the left-arm wristspinner for a six each in the 16th over.
Gayle's run-a-ball 12 knock was cut short by Dwaine Pretorius before Andre Russell was cleaned up by Nortje in the next over. Shimron Hetmyer was run out a ball later to compound the West Indies problems. Pollard made 26 off 20 balls but failed to push up the scoring towards the end.
Contrary to the end result, South Africa did not have the best of starts to their chase losing skipper Bavuma early to a run out. But Hendricks, who replaced Quinton de Kock (dropped for not taking knee against racism), and van der Dussen then stabilised the innings with a 57-run second wicket stand.
After Hendricks' dismissal, van der Dussen and Markram then carried South Africa forward to bring down the equation to 44 off last six overs. While van der Dussen held one end up, Markram played an explosive knock to take South Africa home.
South Africa will next play Sri Lanka in their third Group 1 match on October 30, while West Indies will take on Bangladesh a day earlier.
(With inputs from PTI)