Ken Borland
Sports Journalist
2 minute read
26 Oct 2021
4:05 pm

Proteas back on track after thumping West Indies at T20 World Cup

Ken Borland

Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen and Reeza Hendricks were in fine form with the bat following an equally impressive bowling display.

Proteas batsman Aiden Markram was one of his team's big stars in their T20 World Cup win against the West Indies on Tuesday. Picture: Isuru Sameera Peiris/Gallo Images

Despite being struck before the game by the controversy of the BLM directive and Quinton de Kock’s withdrawal from the team, the Proteas bounced back at the T20 World Cup on Tuesday as they beat the West Indies by eight wickets with 10 balls to spare.

De Kock pulled out of the game because he decided not to follow the Cricket South Africa Board’s directive, issued on the morning of the game, that all players must take a knee to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

It left an already under pressure Proteas batting line-up missing their star player, but they responded brilliantly to chase down a tricky target of 144.

Aiden Markram belted a matchwinning 51 not out off just 26 balls, including four towering sixes, to see South Africa home, and Rassie van der Dussen providing stout support with his 43 not out off 51 deliveries. The pair added 83 off just 57 balls in an impressive display of just how far both of their games have advanced in T20 cricket.

Earlier, Reeza Hendricks, opening the batting in place of De Kock, hit a bright 39 off 30 deliveries to give South Africa a positive start after captain Temba Bavuma ran himself out for two in the first over, chancing a single to mid-on, from where Andre Russell scored a direct hit with a fine piece of fielding.

South Africa had won the toss but looked in disarray in the early stages of the West Indies innings.

Lewis smashes 56

There were lapses in concentration as Van der Dussen misjudged a boundary catch when Evin Lewis had just 12 and replacement wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen fluffed a straightforward catch from Lendl Simmons.

Lewis was explosive, hammering 56 off 35 balls before left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj finally claimed South Africa’s first wicket in the 11th over, with the score already on 73.

But the Proteas were inspired thereafter, and slowly put the West Indies in a stranglehold.

Maharaj (4-0-24-2) added the wicket of Nicholas Pooran (12) and Kagiso Rabada (4-0-27-1) returned to bowl Simmons for a painstaking 16 off 35 deliveries.

Anrich Nortje was magnificent throughout, taking one for 14 in his four overs, while Dwaine Pretorius was superb at the death, taking three for 17 as he bowled the 18th and 20th overs.

The West Indies staggered to 143 for eight and, having been thoroughly rattled at the start of the game, South Africa went into their run-chase in high spirits.