Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Proteas must ‘adapt quicker’ against West Indies, says Van der Dussen

The second of three T20 matches between SA and West Indies will be played on Saturday night.

The Proteas were taken by surprise after West Indies took the game to them in the early stages of their T20 International in Kingston on Thursday evening, admitted stand-in captain Rassie van der Dussen.

The hosts bashed 109 runs in the first 10 overs of their innings, and while they lost momentum, the Proteas never really recovered from the early pressure, ultimately falling in a 28-run defeat in the first game of a three-match series.

Van der Dussen said they needed to adapt faster in their next two games, to be played at Sabina Park on Saturday and Sunday (both starting at 9pm SA time).

“West Indies played differently to what we had anticipated,” Van der Dussen told AFP after the series opener.

“Had they not started so well it would have been different, but we need to learn to adapt quicker.”

King leads from the front

After losing the toss and being sent in to bat, West Indies relied largely on captain Brandon King to hold their line-up together.

The opener 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, did well to take 3/26, and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo picked up 3/28, but the SA team struggled to contain their opponents who reached 175/8 from their 20 overs.

Hendricks’ valiant stand

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

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

Hendricks did not receive enough support, however, with only Matthew Breetzke (19) and Van der Dussen (17) reaching double figures.

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

“I know the conditions well, which was an advantage,” said man-of-the-match King who was playing at his home ground.

“We knew we had to go hard against the new ball as it’d get tougher later. We had 200-220 in mind as we had wickets in hand but fell short on a tough pitch.”

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