South Africa vs West Indies
3rd Twenty20 International
Venue: Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Result: West Indies won by 7 runs
Series: West Indies won series 2-1
Man of the Match: Alzarri Joseph
Player of Series: Johnson Charles
Alzarri Joseph’s superb maiden T20I five-wicket haul (4-0-40-5) supported by Romario Shepherd’s shot-filled unbeaten 44 off 22 balls with the bat, stood tall as West Indies secured an exciting 2-1 series win for West Indies in Rovman Powell first series as full-time T20I captain. The series also maintained West Indies’ unbeaten T20I record in South Africa following a 2-1 victory in 2015 and a 1-1 draw on the 2007/08 tour.
Reflecting on the victory and series triumph Powell said:
“After the last game, the guys were disappointed. We took all the positives from that game and tried to implement them today. The way Shepherd and Alzarri batted at the end was brilliant and then for Alzarri to pick up five wickets was special. As a new international captain, it is my responsibility to push them to a level I want them to go.”
Powell continued by speaking on the type of T20 cricket he wanted for the West Indies and addressed some of his decisions on the field:
“I want my players to be aggressive and to play their natural game. But it is also important to understand when not to be aggressive. We knew that if we got 200-220, we had a chance. To get 200, you have to get a very good start. King, Mayers and Charles have been doing that for us in this series. I’m very happy for him (Alzarri). South Africa is a nice place to bowl and we knew he would like bowling here. Lots of credit must be given to him. The natural thing was to go back to Cottrell but within our team, we know who can nail four out of six yorkers. It was a toss-up between myself, Cottrell and Reifer and in the end, we went with Reifer because he is also a left-handed bowler.”
After Powell lost the toss and the Proteas sent West Indies into bat, the aggressive opening pair Mayers and King flew out of the blocks racing to 38-0 after three overs.
This period was highlighted by both openers taking turns in smashing 22 runs in an over. Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada then slowed down the West Indies’ progress. He bowled Mayers with a full, fast delivery then Johnson Charles, the century-maker from the second match in Centurion, was bowled for a first-ball ‘duck’.
Anrich Nortje returned in the ninth over and bowled King as he walked across and lost leg stump attempting an audacious leg-side flick. Finally, opposite number Aiden Markram bowling his off-spin, got Powell bowled attempting a slog after he was hit for a massive six over mid-wicket in the same over. West Indies were 108-4 at the halfway stage, and eventually, 110-5 in the 12th over, when Lungi Ngidi got Nicholas Pooran caught behind for a shot-filled inning of 41 off 19 balls with two fours and four sixes.
West Indies then lost three wickets for 21 between the 13th and 16th over. Shepherd and Joseph put on the highest ninth-wicket partnership at the Wanderer’s famous “Bull-Ring” stadium and smashed 52 runs off the last three overs to ensure West Indies crossed the 200 mark. Shepherd finished the innings with a massive six over long-on, a pull-through mid-wicket for four and an aerial drive over Rabada’s head in an over that cost 26 runs.
South Africa finished the Powerplay on exactly the same score as West Indies of 61 – but had lost one fewer wicket as the game remained delicately poised.
Joseph’s five-for wins game
Joseph removed de Kock in his first over to leave the Proteas 32-1 after five, and then David Miller in his third and the innings 15th over with South Africa needing 65 runs off the final 30 balls.
However, Joseph’s key impact came in his final six balls when given the penultimate 19th over by captain Powell. He dismissed Reeza Hendricks for 83 off his first ball and then Heinrich Klaasen walked across his stumps and hit him for six
Joseph kept his nerve and outfoxed Klaasen with a wide slower ball that he hit skyward for Cottrell to take a good running catch. Joseph in true fast-bowler style then emphatically bowled Wayne Parnell to the joy of his teammates. This left Raymond Reifer with 25 runs to defend in the final over which he did.
Joseph was named Player-of-the-Match and said:
“We made a good total so it was up to the bowlers to defend it. It is always good when the captain gives you that confidence. I enjoy a challenge. The backroom staff and the captain give me the responsibility to lead the pack and lead by example.
That is something I enjoy doing.”
Saturday, 25 March: West Indies won by 3 wickets – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Sunday, 26 March: South Africa won by 5 wickets – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Tuesday, 28 March: West Indies won by 7 runs – Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg