DUBAI - Aiden Markram and Rassie van der Dussen guided South Africa to an emphatic eight-wicket win with 10 balls to spare against the West Indies having restricted their opposition to a disappointing total of 143-8 in their T20 World Cup match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Markram struck four leg-side sixes and two fours in his aggressive, unbeaten 51 from just 26 balls while Van der Dussen played a more measured innings of 43 not out from 51 balls with just three fours as he controlled a modest run chase. Reeza Hendricks gave the innings an early boost with an easy-on-the-eye 39 from only 30 balls with four fours and a six after being called into the starting XI at the 11th hour when Quinton de Kock made himself unavailable for selection after refusing to conform to a CSA directive for the players to ‘take a knee’ before the start of play.
The West Indies appeared set for a total of around 170 when they reached 87-1 at the start of the 12th over but a spectacular collapse followed after opener Evin Lewis smashed 56 from only 35 balls. The West Indies started slowly with Markram bowling two overs of off-spin at a cost of just four runs before exploding into action in the fifth over of the innings when left-hander Lewis smashed Markram for 18 runs including two sixes.
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Lewis was in glorious form with three fours and half a dozen sixes in a brutal innings of 56 from only 35 balls but his first mistake resulted in his downfall with Kagiso Rabada catching a miscued slog-sweep at deep midwicket off the bowling of Keshav Maharaj. Nicholas Pooran (12 off 7 balls) was promoted to No 3 to atone for the laborious lack of ambition from Lendl Simmons and lashed two quick boundaries before slapping Maharaj to David Miller at long-off.
Opener Simmons played one of the worst innings by an opening batter in T20I history when he gave up 18 dot balls and did not hit a single boundary in a bizarrely subdued innings of 16 from 35 balls. Kagiso Rabada ended his misery with a slower ball which crashed into leg stump.
SCORES IN BRIEF
SOUTH AFRICA 144 for 2 (Markram 51*, van der Dussen 43*, Hendricks 39, Hosein 1-27) beat WEST INDIES 143 for 8 (Lewis 56, Pretorius 3-17, Maharaj 2-24) by eight wickets.