Saturday, March 26, 2016

South Africa Stare at Exit, West Indies through to the Semi Finals after a Scare

South Africa Vs West Indies - VCA in Jamtha, Nagpur 25th March 2016 - ICC WT20 Match Review

West Indies Won by 3 Wickets with 2 Balls to Spare.

It was a must win game for South Africa, having lost already to England and Faf was delighted when Sammy won the toss and, surprisingly, decided to bowl first on a Nagpur pitch which was supposed to be aiding spin bowlers.

South Africa started in frenzy, Amla was run out to a brilliant work in the field by Andre Russell off the third ball of the innings. Du Plessis hit a lovely straight six off Russell in the second over but spooned a catch to Benn off the very next delivery. South Africa decided to push De Villiers down and that brought Rossouw out in the middle. With two left-handers at the wicket Sammy played a master stroke. He brought on Chris Gayle to bowl his gentle off spin. Gayle induced a false shot of Rossouw and he was caught at short third man by Russell, he had failed to open his account. South Africa were 20-3 after three overs and with a lot of work to do.

De Villiers crunched a lovely straight drive while De Kock belted a straight six off Badree to give the Protea innings some life but a Bravo slower ball broke the defences of De Villiers and left South Africa in a deep hole. With Miller at the crease, Sammy tossed the ball to Gayle again and Gayle produced a beauty to take the big hitting Miller's middle stump. Gayle celebrated by standing motionless and stroking his chin in a pensive manner, as if meditating on the two wickets that he had got. South Africa 47-5 in the 9th over.

It could have gotten worse for them had Ramdin stumped Wiese of Benn, but he missed the ball and it trickled into the fence for four byes. De Kock and Wiese brought up their 50 run stand and we're just looking to up the ante when De Kock was bowled around his legs for a well made 47 off 46 balls, an innings of high maturity and one which held the Protea innings together.

Morris and Wiese tried to chip in but the last three overs went for just 14 runs as West Indies tightened the screws in the death overs. Sorry Africa finished with a sub-par 122-8 in their 20 overs.

Gayle started with a delicate boundary to fine leg but saw his off stump pegged back when Rabada got one to swing back into him, the crowd went silent and West Indies were 5-1 after 1. The hero of the last match Fletcher and Charles both swung their bats trying to avoid as many as possible while the field restrictions were on but with limited success. Tahir was introduced in the fifth over and he proved to be difficult to get away. When Wiese came on to bowl his cutters in the sixth, the pressure had mounted enough for Fletcher to look for a nonexistent single as Rossouw caught him well short of the crease with a pin point direct hit. West Indies 37-2 in 6 overs.

Phangiso, Wiese and Tahir were putting a strangle on and despite Charles biffing a monster six off Phangiso, Wiese had him caught at cover for 32 off 35 balls. The 13th over from Rabada saw 3 boundaries ease the pressure which was building, Bravo deflecting one to the vacant fine leg boundary before Samuels slashing two; one over point and another to third man. Phangiso got Bravo in his final over to finish with 1-19 in his 4 and ensured that South Africa were still in it.

Faf brought his trump card Tahir in the 17th, and he immediately had a huge impact. Having dropped Samuels off his first delivery, he induced Russell to play a big shot on the leg side only to find the fielder before cleaning up Sammy off the very next ball with a delightfully flighted googly. That set the cat amongst the Windies dug out and a tight 18th from Wiese left the West Indies with 20 to get off 2 overs.

Samuels hit a couple of boundaries in the penultimate over but he perished going for a big hit, reprising memories of the Bangladesh brain fade against India from just a couple of days ago. West Indies needed 9 from the final over and it seemed as if West Indies will wilt under pressure but Brathwaite smashed a huge six off the second ball to almost seal the deal. They did not make the mistakes that Bangladesh had made the other night, choosing to take singles and finish the game off without any further drama.

The loss left South Africa on the brink of elimination, and West Indies in the semi finals with still a game against Afghanistan to go for them. South Africa would want Sri Lanka to beat England tonight and then hope that they can eke out a huge win against the Lankans themselves for them to have any remote hope of making it through to the semi final stage of the ICC WT20 2016!!

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