Wed | Feb 8, 2023

West Indies fall short

Published:Wednesday | June 30, 2021 | 12:12 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Pollard
Pollard

Before the third T20 against South Africa, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard had called for his team to apply batting intelligence. However, all that talk seemed to have gone through the window, as the regional side fell short by one run against the visitors in Grenada yesterday.

Needing to chase down 168 to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series, Pollard and his men fell agonisingly short, posting 166 for seven in their 20 overs.

Once again, the circumspect middle order failed to navigate the crucial middle period of the innings, as the West Indies soaked up a whopping 48 dot balls, which in the end, proved to be their Achilles heel in the gut-wrenching loss.

The regional side again got a decent start at the top of the order, with the new opening pair of Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons getting a quick-fire 50 runs in the power play.

When Simmons and Lewis fell within two runs of each other at 57 for two in the eighth over, the West Indies decided to reshuffle their batting line-up and sent in Jason Holder to see if he could change their fortunes.

That move looked good initially, as Holder and Shimron Hetmyer, who came into the team in place of Chris Gayle, added 33 runs for the third wicket, before Holder tried to go after Lungi Ngidi and was caught for 16 to leave the West Indies on 90 for three at the halfway stage.

Man of the Match Tabriaz Shamzi proved why he is the number one T20 bowler in the world, as he stifled the West Indies middle-order batting with four miserly overs for just 13 runs, which also included the wickets of Lewis and Hetmyer.

DAUNTING TASK

Vice-captain Nicholas Pooran and Andre Russell tried to steer the ship with a brisk 36-run sixth-wicket partnership. However, when Russell fell to Enrich Nortje for 25 at 140 for six in the 17th over, the task got more daunting for the home side.

The fall of Pooran for 26 at 153 for seven in the 19th over meant the hosts needing 15 runs from the last over, which was bowled by Kagiso Rabada.

Fabian Allen, who hit some heavy blows towards the back-end in the second match, could not repeat the feat, despite the right-hander hitting the last ball of the match for six. The home side would lose by one run, to the disappointment of captain Pollard.

“Time and time again you have these close matches, sometimes you end up on the winning side and sometimes you end up on the losing side. In the last series we had these nail-biting games, and we were on the winning side, so for us, we just need to find a way,” said Pollard.

Earlier, left-arm seamer Obed McCoy bagged a career-best four for 22 from four overs to restrict the visitors to 167 for eight. Veteran Dwayne Bravo also bowled brilliantly to bag three wickets for 25 runs from his four overs.

Wicketkeeper batsman Quinton de Kock top-scored for the Proteas with 72, while Rassie van der Dussen contributed 32

sports@gleanerjm.com