WINDIES TAKE THE LEAD
CENTURION: Sisanda Magala claimed a career-best three-for but it was not enough to prevent the Proteas from slipping to a narrow three-wicket defeat to West Indies in the opening KFC T20 International (T20I) at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Saturday.
The match was a T11 rather than a regular T20 after time was lost at the start due to persistent rain on the Highveld, but once play did begin the hosts were edged out by their visitors, despite the heroics of right-arm seamer Magala.
The 32-year-old not only shone with the ball by claiming three for 21, he also bashed an unbeaten 18 off five balls helping South Africa posted 131 for eight, but his efforts were not enough after the away side scampered past that target with three balls to spare.
David Miller top-scored for the Proteas with a rollicking 48 off only 22 balls in a match that marked the permanent T20 captaincy debut of Aiden Markram, who lost his first toss and was asked to bat first following a lengthy delay due to the weather at the start.
But once play started at 16h00, two hours later than scheduled, the home team fell into early trouble by losing Quinton de Kock (0) and Rilee Rossouw (10) inside the first 10 deliveries. Batting at number three, Markram made 14 before becoming the third wicket to fall in the fourth over leaving his side on 40 for three.
Miller was in next and stopped the slide at one end, although wickets continued to tumble around him with Reeza Hendricks (21 off 12 balls) following and Heinrich Klaasen (1) and Wayne Parnell (4) not too far behind, South Africa reaching 79 for six in the ninth over.
That signalled the arrival of Magala, who carted two sixes and a four on his way to helping Miller put on 47 in just 13 balls. The latter was dismissed with two balls to go following an innings that saw him strike four fours and three sixes, which helped set the visitors 132.
The Proteas claimed four wickets during the first 5.4 overs, but West Indies scored at an alarming rate during this period. Kyle Mayers fell for six to the unusually expensive Bjorn Fortuin (1/42), but Brandon King (23 off 8 balls), Nicholas Pooran (16 off 7 balls) and Johnson Charles (28 off 14 balls) were flying in that period.
Once they fell, their side was on 76 for four. Rovman Powell then kept his cool with an unbeaten 43 off 18 balls, and despite a late double strike by Magala, the islanders kept their cool to complete the job and move 1-0 ahead in the three-match series.
Match two takes place at the same venue on Sunday.
Proteas T20I squad against West Indies
Aiden Markram (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Quinton de Kock (Momentum Multiply Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (DP World Lions), Reeza Hendricks (DP World Lions), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Sisanda Magala (DP World Lions), David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Wayne Parnell (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions), Rilee Rossouw (ITEC Knights), Tabraiz Shamsi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Tristan Stubbs (Dafabet Warriors).
South Africa KFC T20 International Series against West Indies
Saturday, 25 March
South Africa lost to West Indies by three wickets – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Sunday, 26 March
South Africa vs West Indies – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Tuesday, 28 March
South Africa vs West Indies – DP World Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]