DUBAI, (The Southern African Times) – Playing without opener Quinton de Kock, South Africa beat the West Indies by eight wickets in the T20 World Cup on Tuesday to hand the defending champions their second straight loss in Group 1.
De Kock made himself unavailable when, one hour before the game, Cricket South Africa ordered its players to take a knee at the tournament in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
West Indies, routed for 55 by England in its first game, struggled to 143-8 after being put in to bat.
Fast bowler Dwaine Pretorius, who bowled two of the last three overs, bagged 3-17 including the wicket of Chris Gayle with his first ball. The 42-year-old batsman was on 12 when he was undone by an off-cutter and edged a catch to the wicketkeeper.
Evin Lewis top-scored with 56 off 35 balls before he fell to the left-arm spin of Keshav Maharaj (2-24).
Reeza Hendricks (39) then proved a solid replacement for de Kock before Aiden Markram (51 not out) and Rassie van der Dussen (43 not out) led South Africa to 144-2 with 10 balls to spare for its first win in the tournament, after previously losing to Australia.
“Much better than our first game,” said South Africa captain Temba Bavuma, who was run out in the first over. “We knew there were areas we needed to improve on, particularly our batting. Our bowling again was outstanding.”
Lendl Simmons had a game to forget after chewing up 35 deliveries in scoring only 16. The accuracy of Anrich Nortje stifled the West Indies’ big hitters as the fast bowler conceded just 14 runs off four overs.
Van der Dussen, who hit a century in a warm-up game against Pakistan, featured in two half- century stands as he eased the Proteas to victory. He added 57 with Hendricks before combining in an unbeaten alliance of 83 with Markram.
Markram raised his fifty with his fourth six by lofting Andre Russell over mid-wicket before getting a single for victory in the 19th over.
“We haven’t scored enough runs,” West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard said. “It was a disappointing batting effort, not getting 160-plus.”