South Africa keen to establish dominance as West Indies look to draw the series

South Africa team celebrate a wicket. © BCCI

The rain in Antigua cleared for the day as South Africa successfully defended the total of 165 and took home the second T20I of the series after the first match was abandoned. The tourists put up a clinical performance with the bat as Lizelle Lee hit 75 runs to lay the solid foundation and Laura Wolvaardt smashed 33 runs off just nine balls. If West Indies are to get the consolation win in the final T20I, they need to bowl well in the power play and bat sensibly throughout the innings.

South Africa got a very solid start in both T20Is as they were able to put 40+ runs in the power play. They were a little rusty during the middle overs but recovered well to score above par scores on both occasions. In Lee, Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp, South Africa have one of the most experienced top-order and they are making most of it against West Indies, who were wayward in the power play.

Experienced players like Mignon du Preez and Shabnim Ismail have not yet featured in the playing XI for South Africa. Chloe Tryon who made her comeback in the squad for this tour, has not yet got the opportunity to bat in any of the matches. South Africa might want to check their bench strength in the final T20I by resting a few players.

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Kapp’s bowling faced some stiff resistance from Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews in the power play, but she was able to make a comeback to take three wickets during her four overs. Right arm fast bowler Ayabonga Khaka was at her clinical best as she bowled four overs and only conceded eight runs. Just like their batting, South Africa have depth in their bowling attack as well and it will be interesting to see if they make any changes.

For West Indies, the equation is simple. They need to convert the starts with bat into partnerships if they are going to challenge the well-oiled South African unit. Dottin, who retired hurt due to a hamstring injury in the first T20I, did play in the second match, but couldn’t convert the start into a big score. The West Indies middle-order looks inexperienced without Stafanie Taylor and the remaining squad needs to rise up to the occasion.

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The 20-year-old Qiana Joseph, who made her T20I debut in the first match of the series, along with stand-in captain Anisa Mohammed were the only two bowlers, who were relatively economical against the South African batting. Shakera Selman and Shamilia Connell have struggled throughout the series and the hosts replaced them with Cherry-Ann Fraser and Karishma Ramharack for the final T20I.

Well-oiled South Africa have the opportunity to take the series 2-0 in the final match and assert their authority ahead of the five-match ODI series. Will they do it or will West Indies make a comeback? We will find it out.

West Indies: Anisa Mohammed (c), Deandra Dottin (vc), Aaliyah Alleyne, Britney Cooper, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack

South Africa: Dane van Niekerk (c), Sune Luus, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tazmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondumiso Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune, Masabata Klaas