Markram powers Proteas, without De Kock, past Windies to get World Cup back on track

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The Proteas celebrate in Dubai (Getty)
The Proteas celebrate in Dubai (Getty)

The Proteas have cruised to an 8-wicket victory against the West Indies in their second T20 World Cup group clash in Dubai.

On a dramatic Tuesday that saw the spotlight shining brightly on Quinton de Kock making himself unavailable for selection ahead of the toss, the South Africans needed a performance to get their tournament back on track, and that is exactly what they delivered. 

SCORECARD | Proteas v Windies

Aiden Markram was excellent in South Africa's pursuit of 144 for victory, carding the fastest half-century of the tournament so far (25 balls) as he hit four sixes to finish on 51 not-out (26). 

De Kock's bombshell came less than an hour after a Cricket South Africa statement confirmed that all players would be required to take a knee together in the fight against racism, and the organisation later confirmed that De Kock had opted not to follow that instruction. 

It made for a very tense start to affairs, but the Proteas were fighting for their future in the tournament and needed all attention firmly on the field. 

Having won the toss, captain Temba Bavuma opted to field first and confirmed that Reeza Hendricks replacing De Kock would be the only change. 

After a slow start, Windies opener Evin Lewis (56 off 35) then got going. 

The Proteas, though, were able to apply the squeeze and pick up wickets at regular intervals as Bavuma shrewdly changes his bowlers and altered his field. 

Anrich Nortje (1/14 in 4) was the pick of the South African bowlers, while Kagiso Rabada (1/27 in 4), Keshav Maharaj (2/24 in 4) and Dwaine Pretorius (3/17 in 2) were the other contributors. 

It was a rare tough day at the office for Tabraiz Shamsi (0/37 in 3) as the Windies ended their first innings on 143/8. 

In reply, the Proteas lost Bavuma for just 2 (3) when he took on Andre Russell at mid-on only to be run out in spectacular fashion. 

Hendricks (39 off 30) was in wonderful touch before he found the fielder at backward square leg, but in Rassie van der Dussen (43* off 51) and Markram, the South Africans had their ticket home.  

In the end, the Proteas got home in just 18.2 overs. They are next in action against Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Saturday.

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