Bowlers drive West Indies win; share T20I series with South Africa

West Indies celebrate. © Getty Images

In the first two T20Is, Laura Wolvaardt proved to be a major difference between South Africa posting a par score and what eventually they ended up with. While the first game was washed out, the Proteas comfortably won the second. West Indies managed to dismiss Wolvaardt pretty early in the final game on Saturday (September 4) and that helped them cross the line and level the three-game series 1-1 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

One of the keys to South Africa’s success has been their openers Lizelle Lee and Dane van Niekerk’s strong starts. In the third T20I, though, Aaliyah Alleyne dismissed the touring captain for a first-ball duck, after she opted to bat. Chinelle Henry, who was brought in the XI along with Karishma Ramharack, in place of Shamilia Connell and Shakera Selman, then bowled a terrific second over.

First, she dismissed Lee (five), who tried to hoick one over mid-on but was caught by Britney Cooper there. A ball later, Henry got rid of Marizanne Kapp for zero, caught magnificently by Kycia Knight behind the stumps, who was standing up to the stumps.

South Africa found themselves at nine for three in two overs.

In the next over, an urge for a quick single proved calamitous as the tourists lost the in form Wolvaardt for just three. Tazmin Brits tapped one towards covers and set off; but Anisa Mohammed managed to nail a direct hit at the striker’s end to end Wolvaardt’s stay.

South Africa tried to stage a recovery through Brits and Sune Luus from that stage. The pair added 26 before the former holed out to long on for 16. Luus and Chloe Tryon then stemmed the flow of wickets for a while but runs were hard to come by.

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Mohammed, standing in for Stafanie Taylor this series, rotated her bowlers cleverly, who gave away no lose balls. Luus then tried to take on Mohammed, only to find Alleyne at cow corner. Ramharack then increased West indies’ stranglehold by picking up three wickets after coming into the attack in the 15th over. In what could be a consolation for them, South Africa weren’t bowled out and finished on 80 for nine in their quota.

West Indies, in response, lost Hayley Matthews pretty early in the piece, when she sliced one off Ayabonga Khaka to backward point. But Deandra Dottin and Kyshona Knight then got together and never let the tourists get back in the game. The latter showed her intentions when she hit Khaka for two fours in three balls.

Dottin, on the other hand, also hit her first four against Khaka before treating Nonkululeko Mlaba’s left-arm spin with disdain in the final over of the power play. The West Indian dasher first cut Mlaba square on the off side before hitting one over her head for half a dozen.

However, an attempted quick run coupled with a smart, quick return from Lee from backward point saw Dottin run out for 31 off just 21 balls. But Kyshona and Chedean Nation ensured that the hosts’ passage to a victory was easier. The former fell for 26 to van Niekerk with the hosts on the doorstep of a win. Kycia (zero) and Cooper (zero) also fell soon. But Henry and Nation took them home to a five-wicket win that ensured both West Indies and South Africa share the trophy, with the first T20I washed out.

Brief Scores: South Africa 80/9 in 20 overs (Sune Luus 23; Karishma Ramharack 3/8) lost to West Indies 82/5 in 11.5 overs (Deandra Dottin 31, Kyshona Knight 26) by five wickets