West Indies confirmed their place in the semis of ICC WT T20 2016 after defeating South Africa by three wickets at Nagpur under the lights tonight.
South Africa fought hard till the very end, and nearly pulled off a miracle. Even the winning run came off a drop catch to symbolize South Africa’s day in the field.
|South Africa v West Indies|
|West Indies: 123/7 (19.4/20 over)|
South Africa: 122/8 (20/20 over)
Chasing a smallish total, West Indies made the task more difficult for themselves by losing wickets at regular intervals.
Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso and David Wiese bowled brilliantly to take wickets and conceded less than five runs per over.
Tahir took 2 for 13, Wiese 1 for 19 and Phangiso the same in their four overs. However 122 was never enough against West Indies.
Marlon Samuels and Johnson Charles scored the bulk of the runs in their successful chase. Charles contributed with 32 while Samuels made 44.
Imran Tahir turned the tables on West Indies with an awesome last over. He conceded only one run and took two wickets, and dropped a catch.
The long break produced the break that South Africa needed. Sammy was the sixth wicket to fall when Tahir’s googly sneaked in through the bat-pad gap and crashed on to the stumps.
West Indies lost their fifth batter in the 17th over, when Tahir sent back Andre Russell for four runs. Russell failed to clear the fielder at cow’s corner.
Phangiso bowled his last over and gave South Africa hope of defending their below-par total with a wicket in the 14th over of West Indies’ chase.
Proteas spinner got Bravo to play uppishly and had the allrounder caught at backward point. Bravo fell after scoring eight runs.
West Indies began feeling the pressure with the game going down to the wire.
Wiese came back in the 12th over and gave his captain an important breakthrough when Samuels and Charles had things under control.
Charles was dismissed for 32 from 35 balls, and his knock contained two fours and a six.
The third wicket partnership steadied ship with 32 runs in 5.4 overs.
A splendid piece of fielding from South Africa’s Rossouw gave his side their second breakthrough in the sixth over of Calypso’s chase.
A direct hit from point sent Fletcher back to the pavilion after the West Indies batsman had scored 11 from 11.
South Africa got the big wicket of Gayle really cheaply when the powerful left-hander was bowled neck and croft by a Rabada beauty for 4.
What a ball…swinging in late on Gayle who attempted a cross-batted stroke and lost his off stump. Awesome start for South Africa!
Earlier, West Indies were all pumped up and played superbly to restrict South Africa to 122 for 8 in 20 overs at Nagpur under the lights tonight.
In terms of bowling, West Indies were on the money from ball one, and never allowed the Proteas to get away at any stage of the match. None of the Calypso bowlers conceded over 8 runs per over.
Gayle picked two for 17, Bravo 2 for 20 and Russell two for 28.
For South Africa, Quinton de Kock scored nearly half of his side’s total with 47. Wiese was the second highest scorer with 28.
Phangiso was run out in the last ball, after he made only four runs.
Bravo grabbed his second wicket of the game when he got Wiese to offer a skier at mid-off. The ball went miles up in the air, but Sammy was safe as safe as a bucket.
Wiese played a good hand, contributed with 28 useful runs from 26 balls. He struck two fours and enabled his team to bowl at something tonight.
West Indies struck late to dent South Africa’s chances of a decent total. Russell sent back Quinton in the 16th over to the sheer delight of his teammates.
Quinton held one end secured with his knock of 47 from 46 balls which contained three fours and a huge six.
The sixth wicket partnership between de Kock and Wiese revived South Africa’s floundering innings, and produced 50 vital runs in under 8 overs.
After a mini-partnership of some kind between ABD and de Kock, Bravo threw a spanner in South Africa’s works in the 8th over.
Bravo’s slower ball brought the important wicket of AB de Villiers. ABD only managed ten from 12 balls.
South Africa in dire straits…
West Indies were celebrating again as the third over was completed. Gayle got in the act and snared another Proteas wicket.
Rossouw skied his cut to point where Russell didn’t make any mistake. Proteas batter was out for a two-ball duck.
South Africa’s torrid start got worse in the second over West Indies allrounder Andre Russell sent back Proteas skipper for nine runs.
Faf du Plessis gave a loopy catch to mid-on after facing seven balls in his brief innings.
West Indies calling all the shots early…
A horrible between Amla and de Cock resulted in West Indies picking up their fist wicket in the third ball of the match.
Amla was run out for one run.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy won the toss and decided to field first given the conditions at Nagpur against South Africa led by Faf du Plessis in the Super Ten match of ICC WT20 2016 in India.
"Happy days, we were going to bat first anyway. Nagpur wicket is slower and takes turn so I'm very happy that we're batting first. These conditions are a lot different than the Wankhede.” Proteas skipper said.
"We are going to bowl first again today. I spoke to the groundsman and he said that it's going to be different than the first game between New Zealand and India. I don't know how it will play. We'll look to restrict them and so far we've been chasing well.” Darren Sammy of West Indies.
Chris Gayle will return to the top of the batting order as the Windies look to continue their winning run and secure a semifinal berth.
The big-hitting left-handed opener was dropped down the order to number six in their previous match against Sri Lanka after he pulled a hamstring while fielding.
The West Indies, though, didn't require Gayle's services as they rode on opener Andre Fletcher's unbeaten 84 to register a seven-wicket victory at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.
The pitch will once again be in focus for this crucial tie as the recent games in Nagpur have assisted the spinners.
West Indies hold the aces after two wins from their opening two matches. A third will see them take control of the group and set themselves up to top it, with only Afghanistan left to play. It will also guarantee them a semi-final berth.
South Africa remain far away from such safety. Defeat to England means that even after beating Afghanistan, they still have to deal with the two most recent champions if they are to ensure advancement.
On paper, South Africa should not be too anxious of the West Indian challenge, but we all know the saying about where sport is actually played.
Johnson Charles, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Andre Fletcher, Denesh Ramdin(w), Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Darren Sammy(c), Carlos Brathwaite, Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn
Quinton de Kock(w), Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis(c), AB de Villiers, David Miller, Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, and Imran Tahir