Captain Powell Powers West Indies to victory in opening T20I
South Africa vs West Indies
1st Twenty20 International
Venue: Super Sports Park, Centurion
Result: West Indies won by 3 wickets
Man of the Match: Rovman Powell
Rovman Powell emulated Shai Hope in the just concluded One-Day International series, by leading his team to victory in his first match as full time West Indies T20I captain, in a rain reduced, nail biting encounter in Centurion.
Following the torrential rain which delayed the start of the game by two hours and then reduced it to 11 overs a side, West Indies won toss opted to put the Aiden Markham led South Africa into bat.
Proceedings began perfectly for the West Indies when Akeal Hosein dismissed the dangerous Quinton De Kock first delivery caught by Romario Shepherd at short fine-leg as he top edged an attempted sweep shot.
Later when Shepherd got himself into the wicket column as he sent back Wayne Parnell, the hosts had slumped to 79-6 in the ninth over. However the West Indies still ended up chasing a challenging target of 132, which was built around a whirlwind 48 off 22 balls from left-hander David Miller.
Ensured West Indies got over the line
Brandon King’s eight-ball 23 gave the visitors a good start and Johnson Charles’ 14-ball 28 supported but it was Powell who ensured West Indies got over the line as wickets kept falling around him. West Indies required 46 runs off 24 balls when Powell took 23 runs off left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin’s second over, to bring the required run-rate down to seven an over for the final three overs of play.
Powell held his composure valiantly especially when Sisanda Magala took two wickets in two balls and almost got his hat-trick at the other end, to leave West Indies needing nine off the final over. Fittingly, Powell hit the winning runs with three balls to spare, which included a massive six over the mid-wicket boundary.
‘The ball travels so nicely here’
A delighted Powell was adjudged the Player of the Match. Reflecting on his match-winning innings and the West Indies win he said:
“I was disappointed with the way I got out in the ODIs. Just trying to bat through the tough periods. Today, the first ball, I was respectful, and I tried to push it around.”
“A lot of guys in the team are used to the T10 format and that helped us. The ball travels so nicely here and we knew that 130 is gettable. All we needed was for two batters to bat long. We played a lot of shots but there are still periods where you have to push it around. You can’t keep hitting good bowlers for sixes.”
On plans for Sunday’s second contest he added:
“We just have to do the basics right. It is important to get wickets with the new ball and that is the only way to stop a strong South African batting line-up.”
The second Twenty20 International takes place at the same venue on Sunday. First ball is scheduled 2pm (8am EasternCaribbean/7am Jamaica), with the West Indies aiming for a second win and take the series.