01 Jul REJUVENATED WEST INDIES LEVEL T20 SERIES
GREANADA: West Indies captain, Kieron Pollard, led with both bat and ball to help his side level the series 2-all in the fourth fixture of the five-match T20 international series against the Proteas on Thursday. They gained victory by 21 runs, setting the stage for a series decider scheduled to take place at the National Cricket Stadium this Saturday, 03 July at 14:00 local time.
South Africa won the toss and elected to field first and probably promptly regretted that decision when Lendl Simmons blasted 20 runs off the opening over of the match by Aiden Markram. He and the skipper were the pick of the hosts’ batsmen, scoring 47 (34) and 51 (25, 2x4s, 5x6s). Tabraiz Shamsi (2/13) and George Linde (2/16) were once again the tourists’ shining light in the middle period, taking four wickets for 29 runs between them and bowling 26 dots. An excellent feat considering the pressure of the time with the Windies looking comfortable when playing the seamers.
After the period of relative calm curtesy of the spin twins, South Africa went on to conceded 55 runs in the last three overs and, along with some indifferent fielding, resulted in the home team setting them a target of 168, which should have been gettable, considering that the visitors had reached that score in the last two fixtures.
Another batting collapse ensued however, seeing them restricted to 146/9 at the end of their 20 overs with Quinton de Kock again top scoring, this time with 60 off 43 (6x4s, 2x6S). Markram was the only other batsman to reach the 20-run mark. The rest of the top and middle orders saw captain, Temba Bavuma (7), Linde (6 off 6), Rassie van der Dussen (6 off 7) and Reeza Hendricks (2) all depart for scores of less than 10 each. Kagiso Rabada provided some tail-end fireworks, hitting a four and a six to return with his unbeaten 16 from 12 deliveries but it was not close to enough in the end.
Once again, the Proteas will have just one day to work at turning their fortunes around and ensure that they clinch the series.