Charles bashes aggressive 69, bowlers star as West Indies clean sweep South Africa 3-0

South Africa

West Indies 165 for 2 (Charles 69, King 44, Mayers 36*, Peter 1-27) beat South Africa 163 for 7 (van dur Dussen 51, McCoy 3-39, Motie 2-21) by eight wickets

West Indies swept the three-match series against South Africa to conclude their T20 World Cup preparations in the most commanding way possible before the tournament starts next week. South Africa, on the other hand, have won just two of their last 11 completed T20I matches since the last T20 World Cup and have lost series to West Indies twice and Australia once, and enter the global competition on the back foot.

If there’s any consolation, it’s that none of South Africa’s powerhouse middle order of Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and Tristan Stubbs were part of this series, but all will return for the World Cup. Still, there remain concerns over Quinton de Kock, who scored 64 runs in three innings and had a poor BBL, SA20 and IPL, while also appearing to pick up a back injury on Sunday; and Ryan Rickelton, who managed only 43 runs in three innings.

Equally, Anrich Nortje’s economy rate of 12.16 through the series and the absence of any wickets to his name asks questions over his readiness for international cricket after an almost nine-month absence as he recovered from a lower-back stress fracture. But he is part of South Africa’s final squad for the World Cup, as they travel to the United States for their opening matches.

West Indies head to Trinidad to play Australia in a warm-up match before their first World Cup match in Guyana, and they appear as ready as they can be. They’ve won four out of five series since the last T20 World Cup, and beat South Africa 3-0 for the first time in this one. After defending totals of 175 and 207 to win the series, they were made to chase and hunted down 164 inside 14 overs to ease past South Africa again.

Obed McCoy, added to the T20 World Cup squad in the place of the injured Jason Holder, was the most successful bowler in the final match with 3 for 39, while stand-in captain Brandon King finished as the series’ leading run-scorer and captained the team to victory on his home ground Sabina Park, which will not see any T20 World Cup action.

The redemption of Johnson Charles

It was against South Africa, 15 months ago, that Johnson Charles made the case to reclaim his spot in the T20I squad with 118 off just 46 balls in a T20I in Centurion. But since then, it has been lean going for him. Charles went ten innings without crossing fifty, and questions over his T20 World Cup-squad involvement were more than just whispers.

But he silenced that with a knock of complete assurance and authority to bring up his fifth T20I half-century, and set the platform for another West Indies win. Charles’ takedown of South Africa’s fastest, Nortje and Gerald Coetzee, was most impressive. He scored 25 runs off just ten balls from Nortje, and 22 off four from Coetzee, including three successive sixes. Only three of his 69 runs came in singles, with 66 in boundaries, and even though he was dismissed in the seventh over, he had already put the result beyond doubt.

Motie makes the most of it

After taking three wickets in each of his last three games, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie seemed set for a similar haul after two exceptional overs. He was brought on immediately after the powerplay, and displayed good changes of pace to have de Kock trapped lbw, as the latter played a reverse sweep too early and was given out.

In Motie’s next over, Matthew Breetzke hit the ball back over the bowler’s head. It looked like a clean strike but wasn’t timed as well as he intended, and Shamar Joseph took a good catch inside the boundary rope to end a disappointing tour for the CSA T20’s top run-scorer for the 2023-24 season.

Motie’s figures after two overs were 2 for 5, but his day didn’t finish as well as he hoped. He conceded 11 runs off his final over, as Rassie van der Dussen hit him for two sixes and he wasn’t used again.

van der Dussen’s final say

Excluded from South Africa’s T20 World Cup squad but asked to captain them in this series, van der Dussen has not had the easiest few months. But he had a strong last say on this tour. Van der Dussen scored a 30-ball fifty to take South Africa from 50 for 4 to 163 for 7, and demonstrated strong hitting skills straight down the ground. All five of his sixes were scored in the V between long-off and long-on, and his 77-run fifth-wicket stand with Wiaan Mulder was the difference between a South African collapse and a semblance of competitiveness.

Mayers missed and then didn’t

Van der Dussen’s knock could have ended on 9 when he dragged a Hayden Walsh Jnr delivery from outside off to long-on, where Kyle Mayers was waiting for the catch. He took it cleanly but misjudged how close his back foot was to the boundary rope and stepped over it with the ball in hand. Van der Dussen was the first to gesture that he had earned six.

Six overs later, Mulder mis-hit a McCoy slower ball to long-on, where Mayers was ready to take the catch two-handed, with more than enough space behind him to tumble, hold on and avoid giving away a boundary.

With the bat, Mayers cracked four sixes in an unbeaten knock of 36, helping wrap the chase up after Charles had laid the foundation. But Mayers remains a reserve player in the West Indies T20 World Cup squad.

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

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Ravindra among three changes as New Zealand opt to bowl
Josh Hazlewood: Knocking England out early is ‘in our best interests’
Hathurusinghe pleased with bowlers for taking ‘ownership of the situation’
Unbeaten India, USA set to take over New York with an eye on Super Eight spot
Moeen Ali: ‘We have to be ruthless otherwise we’re going home’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *