DURBAN—West Indies failed in their bid for a clean sweep, conjuring up a familiar ragged all-round performance to slump to a 69-run defeat to South Africa in the third and final Twenty20 International in South Africa, yesterday.
Lacking the sharpness exhibited in the two previous games and opting to rest several frontline players including Chris Gayle, the Caribbean side found the target of 196 a burden too heavy to carry and slumped to 126 all out off 19 overs at Kingsmead.
Opener Lendl Simmons gave them a lightning start with 49 off 31 balls, in a 48-run first wicket stand with the out-of-sorts Dwayne Smith (5), which lifted hopes of a successful run chase.
However, once Smith missed a heave at a straight one from left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso and was bowled in the sixth over, the innings imploded and the last nine wickets tumbled for 78 runs.
Kieron Pollard was the only other batsman to reach the 20s but even then, he needed 23 balls for his unbeaten 20 and failed to find the boundary once.
Medium pacer David Wiese ran through the Windies innings to finish with five for 23 while pacers Marchant de Lange (2-26) and Wayne Parnell (2-33) supported with two wickets apiece.
However, it was opener Morne van Wyk’s maiden T20 International hundred that put South Africa on their way to a daunting 195 for three from their 20 overs.
The 35-year-old right-hander pummeled an unbeaten 114 off 70 balls as South Africa, sent in, capitalized on wayward bowling and loose fielding to take command of the contest.
Van Wyk, who counted nine fours and seven sixes, put on 111 for the first wicket with Reeze Hendricks who struck 42 from 32 balls, and added then a further 47 with Wiese who stroked 21 off 16 deliveries, after being pushed up the order.
Surviving a chance to Smith at point off seamer Carlos Brathwaite when he had made just one in the second over, van Wyk dominated the Windies bowling, reaching his half-century off 35 balls off the final delivery of the tenth over.
South Africa were then 96 without loss and looking at a target well beyond 200 but the Windies bowlers managed to pull things back, as they hosts managed just 99 from the next ten.
Van Wyk marched to three figures in cavalier fashion, swinging left-armer Sheldon Cottrell straight for four and then depositing him over the ropes at square leg next ball in the penultimate over of the innings, to storm into the 90s.
He reached his hundred off the second ball of the final over, with a leg side single off medium pacer Dwayne Bravo.
Simmons propelled West Indies in the early overs, cracking five fours and two sixes as Smith scratched around. He single-handedly destroyed Parnell in the bowler’s second over – the fourth of the innings which cost 23 – smashing four fours and a six as West Indies motored to 45 without loss after four overs.
However Smith departed after labouring ten balls and never finding the boundary and Marlon Samuels steered Wiese to captain Justin Ontong at point in the seventh over to fall for six with the score on 60 for two.
With a half-century beckoning Simmons holed out in the deep off Wiese in the ninth over and West Indies were slumping at 71 for four in the tenth when Andre Fletcher was taken at third man for two by Kyle Abbott off Parnell.
All-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Pollard, at the centre of attention following their axing from the World Cup squad, then came together but could do little to stop the rot.
Bravo had faced 13 balls for his 12 when he tried to go over the leg side but succeeded only in top-edging a catch off Wiese to the wicketkeeper running around to square leg, in the 13th over at 84 for five.
Andre Russell flattered to deceive with a six and four in 12 off seven balls and captain Darren Sammy (8) and Carlos Brathwaite (1) both perished in the 17th over at the hands of Wiese, as the innings went awry. (CMC)
SOUTH AFRICA 195 for three off 20 overs (Morne van Wyk 114 not out, Reeza Hendricks 42, David Wiese 21; Kieron Pollard 1-13) vs WEST INDIES 126 all out off 19 overs (Lendl Simmons 49; Kieron Pollard 20 not out; David Wiese 5-23, Marchant de Lange 2-26, Wayne Parnell 2-33).