Take two for battle-hardened South Africa against Taylor-less West Indies

Marizanne Kapp starred with bat and ball. © ICC

The last time West Indies and South Africa were scheduled to play the T20I match at the Sydney Showground, during the T20 World Cup, it was abandoned due to heavy rainfall. When these two sides met each other after 17 long months, the rain played the spoilsport yet again, as the first match of the three-match T20I series at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua was abandoned. The two sides will face each other for the second T20I on Thursday (September 2) hoping to put the first win on the board.

Playing without their regular captain, Stafanie Taylor, who was ruled out of the T20I series against South Africa after being identified as a primary contact of a Covid-19 case in Jamaica, West Indies struggled with the ball. The battle-hardened South African top order, all of whom played in the recently concluded The Hundred competition came hard at the West Indies bowlers.

Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman had off days, bleeding runs at close to ten runs an over. With the other bowlers bowling economical spells, it could have come back to hurt the hosts after South Africa set them a target of 136. Spinners Anisa Mohammed, Hayley Matthews and Qiana Joseph were successful in keeping the batters in control with the experienced Mohammed and Matthews being the only ones to pick a wicket in the game. It will be interesting to see if West Indies include Karishma Ramharack, who was in the XV ahead of the first game.

What could be a bit of worry for the Windies is the injury of allrounder and vice-captain, Deandra Dottin. She walked out clutching her hamstring after facing just three balls. For someone who has a history of injuries, the hosts would hope she is fit for the second T20I.

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For South Africa, Marizanne Kapp has been a vital all-rounder over the years now. She became the fifth player to score 1000+ international runs in T20I for South Africa. Walking in at no.3, the allrounder provided the base for the tourists after which Laura Wolvaardt did her thing at no.4. Kapp also picked up the lone West Indies wicket that fell.

With South Africa opting to rest Shabnim Ismail, it could have been interesting to see how the bowling attack would have stood up but it wasn’t to be. With only a day’s break between the first and second matches, expect the Proteas to play the same XI, save for some tactical tweaks.

Take two, then. Will the weather allow for a full game?

West Indies: Anisa Mohammed (c), Deandra Dottin (vc), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Britney Cooper, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Qiana Joseph, Kycia Knight, Kyshona Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman

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