All-round Chase, effective Motie seal West Indies’ T20I series win over South Africa

West Indies

West Indies 207 for 7 (Chase 67, Peter 2-32) beat South Africa 191 for 7 (de Kock 41, Motie 3-22) by 16 runs

West Indies sealed the three-match T20I series against South Africa, with a match to spare, and successfully defended 208 in front of enthusiastic Sabina Park supporters. With all the fixtures in this series being played at the same venue in Jamaica – which will not host any T20 World Cup games – the weekend crowd were out in full force on a Saturday afternoon to enjoy another strong performance from their side.

After choosing to bat, West Indies started slower than the first match (where they had reached 100 runs by the halfway mark) but paced their innings well. They accelerated in the middle and latter period, thanks to a 56-run fourth-wicket stand off 36 between Roston Chase and Andre Fletcher and a 63-run fifth-wicket stand, off only 25 balls, between Chase and Romario Shepherd. In the process, Chase scored his first T20I fifty.

Anrich Nortje returned to the South African side after almost nine months on the sidelines as he recovered from a lower back stress fracture and was expensive on his return. His four overs cost 47 runs, and he went wicketless. The star of South Africa’s bowling was debutant Nqabayomzi Peter, who took 2 for 32, but is not in the T20 World Cup squad.

In response, South Africa were quick out of the blocks and brought up 100 in eight overs but no-one could kick on after Quinton de Kock’s 41. The middle-order were particularly disappointing and folded from 113 for 2 to 167 for 7, losing 5 for 54. South Africa may not be too concerned because none of Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Tristan Stubbs and David Miller were all not involved in this series and all four will return for the T20 World Cup.

Still, South Africa have not won a T20I series since August 2022, and have lost four of their last five series. Their ability against spin remains a concern and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie benefited most from that. He picked up career-best figures of 3 for 22 and has taken three wickets in each of his last three matches.

Newcomer Nqaba makes a name

Little more than a year ago, Peter was a net bowler, without a domestic contract, bowling to South Africa’s batters in their preparation for a home series against West Indies. Now, after finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker at the CSA T20 Challenge for the title-winning Lions, he made his international debut at Sabina Park and immediately impressed.

Brought on to bowl just after the Powerplay, he tempted West Indies’ stand-in captain Brandon King into a big shot with his fourth ball that was full and wide outside off. King slapped it across the line but could not clear Wiaan Mulder at long-on, who took the catch over his head to give Peter the biggest name on debut. In his next over, Peter was not put off by Kyle Mayers hitting his googly for six and bowled it again. Mayers pulled to the area between deep square leg and fine leg, where Ryan Rickelton ran around to take the catch. Peter finished with 2 for 32 in his four overs.

Chasing half-centuries

Roston Chase has played high-level cricket for a dozen years but this is only his 13th T20I and before today, he had yet to score a half-century. That changed with an innovative innings that held West Indies together and ensured they accelerated in the second half of their innings. Five of Chase’s six fours were scored behind square and his two sixes were big ones, both off short balls. The second, off Lungi Ngidi, sailed over the stands and broke a window of one of the parked cars, as he brought up fifty off 30 balls.

Quinton’s quick start

Quinton de Kock has not been at his most fluent since retiring from ODI cricket at last year’s fifty-over World Cup but showed signs of returning to his best as he gave South Africa a speedy start. De Kock pulled the first ball he faced to fine leg and beat Kyle Mayers to find the boundary and went on to hit four fours and as many sixes in the 17 balls he faced. The shots of his knock were back-to-back sixes off Akeal Hosein, the first off a full ball that he slammed over mid-on, and the second off a short ball that he pulled over long-on. He was bowled in the same over but was still the major contributor to South Africa’s highest Powerplay score of 85 for 2.

Catches win matches

Andile Phehlukwayo was promoted to No.6, above Wiaan Mulder, and was called on with eight overs left, and South Africa still 84 runs away from the target. They had not hit a boundary since the eighth over, and Phehlukwayo had no choice but to try and get one when Gudakesh Motie offered one full and wide. Phehlukwayo attempted a shot go over cover but Shamar Joseph moved to his right and dived diagonally to take an amazing catch in the deep. Two overs later, Akeal Hosein, at long-off, timed his jump well to end Rassie van der Dussen’s innings on 30, and with it South Africa’s hopes.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s correspondent for South Africa and women’s cricket

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