An excellent bowling and fielding performance by the West Indies team landed them a place in the semifinal of 2016 ICC World T20, with a seven-wicket victory over South Africa at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur yesterday.
The win was the third successive by the Caribbean side and puts them at the top of the standings in Group 1, with six points from three matches.
Two wickets apiece from Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Chris Gayle, backed up by excellent fielding, saw the South Africans crawl to 122 for eight off their 20 overs. Their fate would have been worse but for a 46-ball 47 from wicketkeeper/batsman Quinton de Kock and a composed 28 from David Wiese.
West Indies left to get the relatively simple task of 123 runs from 20 overs, made heavy weather of the target, leaving it until the final over to get over the line.
It was down to 20 runs needed from 12 balls and Man of the Match Marlon Samuels took two fours off Chris Morris, but got out in the same over.
Carlos Brathwaite and Denesh Ramdin were left to get nine runs off the final over bowled by Kagiso Rabada and they got the runs with two balls to spare.
Samuels stood tall on a slow pitch to record a mature 43 off 42 balls. During his innings the Jamaican crossed 1000 runs in T20 cricket, the second West Indian behind Chris Gayle to achieve the mark.
South Africa was in the game until the 11th over after the early loss of Gayle (4) and Andre Fletcher (11). Opener Johnson, far from his best, bludgeoned his way to 32 in a partnership of 24 with Samuels that got West Indies back on track.
Earlier, West Indian energy, which has been a feature of this tournament, was on display from the first over, when a brilliant piece of Russell’s fielding saw Hashim Amla shaking his head and walking back to the dug out.
Sulieman Benn continued the impressive fielding with a low catch, diving forward at mid-off to send back skipper Faf du Plessis. The momentum was so much with the West Indies team that anything they touched turned to gold. Sammy called on a man who did not bowl in a T20 international for six years and he delivered. Gayle took out Riley Rossouw and then the “chest roll” followed.
The coup de gras was delivered soon after by Dwayne Bravo, who sent a slow delivery crashing unto the timbers of the West Indian nemesis AB de Villiers, with the score at 46/4. Gayle then returned and castled David Miller for a duck.
Opener de Kock was still there and had the best seat in the house to view half his side go down.
The West Indies will stay in Nagpur and play their final group match against Afghanistan tomorrow at 5.30 am TT time.
WEST INDIES vs SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa inns
H Amla run out 1
Q de Kock b Russell 47
F du Plessis c Benn b Russell 9
R Rossouw c Russell b Gayle 0
AB de Villiers b Bravo 9
D Miller b Gayle 0
D Wiese c Sammy b Bravo 28
C Morris not out 16
A Phangiso run out 4
Total for 8 wkts(20ovs) 122
Fall of wkts: 1, 13, 20, 46, 47,97, 112, 122.
Bowling: S Badree 3–0–22–0, A Russell 4–0–28–2, C Gayle 3–0–17–2, S Benn 4–0–20–0, C Brathwaite 2–0–11–0, D Bravo 4–0–20–2.
West Indies inns
J Charles c du Plessis b Wiese 32
C Gayle b Rabada 4
A Fletcher run out 11
M Samuels c de Villiers
b Morris 43
D Bravo c Wiese b Phangiso 8
A Russell c Miller b Tahir 4
D Sammy b Tahir 0
C Brathwaite not out 10
D Ramdin not out 1
Total for 7 wkts (19.4ovs) 123
Fall of wkts: 5, 34, 66, 87, 100, 100, 113.
Bowling: K Rabada 3.4–0–41–1, C Morris 4–0–33–1, D Wiese 4–0–19–1, A Phangiso 4–0–19–1, I Tahir 4–0–13–2.
Result: West Indies won by 7 wkts.
West Indies 2 pts.
Man of the match: Marlon Samuels (WI)