De Kock, Markram, and Shamsi stars for SA to clinch the series title in a decider
In the final contest of the T20 series, South African bowlers showed the power in their arms to clinch the series title by 25 runs in the fifth and final T20I against West Indies at Grenada.
Throughout the series, a total of over 160 has proven chase-able at Grenada. So, West Indies needed a brisk start in conditions where batsmen have found it difficult to score in the middle and final overs.
The former T20 World Champions followed the plan and reached 50/1 after the end of six overs. Evin Lewis as usual put the highest gear to take on South African pacers – Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi – for a couple of boundaries and a six.
Lewis then followed Gayle towards the path of the pavilion after getting caught at long-off, off Ngidi. Meanwhile, Shamsi ended his spell with outstanding figures of 1-11-4.
It’s not ended here but the middle overs had their part of the drama and action too. Shamsi while fielding, dropped a few catches which turned out beneficial for Shimron Hetmyer on both occasions.
On the other end, Kieron Pollard while trying to get a single hurt his hamstring. Wiaan Mulder’s low full tosses then turned out to be effective for Africa as he dismissed Pollard and Andre Russel on the consecutive deliveries to get his side back in the contest.
Hetmyer who kept struggling for most of his innings dismissed long-on. Nicholas Pooran raised hopes for the West Indies in the 18th over after hitting a couple of shots.
However, Rabada closed the chapter in the penultimate over after removing Dwayne Bravo and Pooran. Ngidi gave a single run and also took a wicket in the final over to wrap up things.
The foundation of SA victory was laid by Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram. An unbreakable second-wicket stand of 128 runs for the second wicket put SA in the driving seat so they can choose the target of their choice in the final overs.
Although a few wickets fell for SA in the last five overs to slow down the scoring rate as a result, SA only managed to score 32 runs in the slog overs.
“Very delighted, it’s been an incredible effort from the boys. Winning the series can only boost our confidence. Looking at the World Cup gives us belief. Things are gelling, we were put under pressure from a skill point of view. Big stride forward for us,”said Temba Bavuma, the winning captain.
“I’m somebody who likes to watch a lot of footage. Full credit goes to the entire bowling unit, which is why we won the series. There is a running joke in the team that the safest place to hit the ball is to hit it to me! People never gave us a chance. The teams played well. To win 3-2 at their home ground shows something about the team,”said player of the series, Tabraiz Shamsi.
“I’m somebody who likes to watch a lot of footage. Full credit goes to the entire bowling unit, which is why we won the series. There is a running joke in the team that the safest place to hit the ball is to hit it to me! People never gave us a chance. The teams played well. To win 3-2 at their home ground shows something about the team,”said the losing captain, Kieron Pollard.
Brief scores: South Africa 168/4 in 20 overs (Aiden Markram 70, Quinton de Kock 60; Fidel Edwards 2-19) beat the West Indies 143/9 in 20 overs (Evin Lewis 52; Lungi Ngidi 3-32) by 25 runs