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Windies suffer one-run defeat


Windies suffer one-run defeat
Kieron Pollard (GP)

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St Georges – West Indies repeated their batting mistakes from last weekend’s loss with another happy-go-lucky approach, as they slumped to a one-run defeat to South Africa in the third Twenty20 International here Tuesday.

Chasing 168 in a near carbon copy of Sunday’s contest at the Grenada National Stadium, West Indies attacked from the outset but were once again guilty of injudicious stroke-play and failure to rotate strike, to end on 166 for seven off their 20 overs.

Opener Evin Lewis and Nicholas Pooran both top-scored with 27 while all-rounder Andre Russell struck 25 but the home side declined from 55 without loss in the seventh over, mainly due to left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi (2-13) and fast bowler Anrich Nortje (2-29) who snared two wickets apiece.

With West Indies needing 15 runs from the last over, fast bowler Kagiso Rabada conceded a wide off the first ball and then kept Fabian Allen scoreless from the first legitimate delivery, before the right-hander whipped the second delivery to the backward square boundary.

Allen missed the third ball, however, and could only squirt the fourth to deep square for a couple, leaving the Windies requiring eight runs from two deliveries.

But once the Jamaican failed to connect with the next delivery – a full length ball on leg stump – South Africa were assured of victory and a six off the final ball of the innings was of academic importance.

Fast bowler Obed McCoy finished with a career-best four-wicket haul.

“Time and time again you have these close matches. Sometimes you end up on the winning side, sometimes you end up on the losing side,” said a crestfallen captain Kieron Pollard.

“The last series we had these nail-biting games and we were on the winning side.”

The victory handed South Africa a 2-1 lead in the five-match series and following defeat in last Saturday’s opener, captain Temba Bavuma said the result was a massive boost for the tourists.

“It’s a big confidence booster for us as a team,” said Bavuma.

“These are the types of situations we like to find ourselves in, and obviously finding a way to get over the line. In the past we’ve let it slip, games have slipped from our hands.”

Earlier, South Africa were limited to 167 for eight off their 20 overs, after their innings fell away badly, losing five wickets for 36 runs off 30 balls at the end.

Left-arm seamer Obed McCoy produced career-best figures of four for 22 while veteran medium pacer Dwayne Bravo finished with three for 25.

Sent in for the third straight game, left-handed opener Quinton de Kock top-scored with 72 off 51 deliveries to post his seventh half-century in his 50th T20 International.

He struck five fours and two sixes, posting 42 for the first wicket with Reeza Hendricks (17), 43 for the third wicket with Aiden Markram (23) and a pivotal 60 for the fourth wicket with Rassie van der Dussen whose 32 came from 24 balls.

De Kock, dropped on 67 in the 17th over by Holder at long on, perished in the next over, whipping a wide ball delivery from Bravo to Lendl Simmons at square leg.

West Indies then looked to be galloping towards a straightforward victory when Lewis blasted a couple of fours and a six off 21 balls, and Simmons joined in with one of each in a run-a-ball 22, the pair dominating in a half-century stand.

They fell within six balls of each other, however, to leave West Indies 57 for two but Holder and Hetmyer counter-attacked to keep the hosts in the hunt.

Holder eventually skied fast bowler Lungi Ngidi to long on in the 11th over before Hetmyer holed out to point off Shamsi, and when Pollard (1) was comprehensively bowled by Rabada, West Indies had lost three wickets for 14 runs to be 104 for five in the 13th over.