Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Hendricks puts up a fight, but Proteas fall to West Indies in series opener

Seam bowler Ottneil Baartman did well to take 3/26 on debut.

A valiant half-century by Reeza Hendricks was not enough as the Proteas fell well short in a 28-run defeat to West Indies in the first T20 International in Kingston on Thursday night.

With the tourists chasing a target of 176 to win at Sabina Park, they were bowled out for 147 runs in the final over of their innings.

Opening batter Hendricks rooted himself to the crease, hitting a T20 International career best 87 runs off 51 balls in an innings which featured six sixes.

He did not receive enough support from the rest of the line-up, however, with only Matthew Breetzke (19) and captain Rassie van der Dussen (17) reaching double figures.

Spin bowler Gudakesh Motie, who took 3/25, and seamer Matthew Forde, who picked up 3/27, were the best of the home team’s destructive attack.

West Indies innings

Earlier, after losing the toss and being sent in to bat, West Indies also relied largely on an opener, captain Brandon King (79 off 45), to hold their line-up together.

He received backing, however, from Kyle Mayers (34) and Roston Chase (32 not out), which made the difference between the two sides in the end.

Seamer Ottniel Baartman, playing his first match for the Proteas in any format, did well to take 3/26, and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo grabbed 3/28.

But the SA team, missing speedster Anrich Nortje who was unavailable due to a niggle in his lower back, struggled to contain their opponents who made 175/8 from their 20 overs.

The second of three T20 Internationals between South Africa and West Indies will be played in Kingston at 9pm (SA time) on Saturday night.