Power-packed Rovman Powell drives Windies to win in rain-affected first T20

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West Indian fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell celebrates a wicket with his signature salute.
West Indian fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell celebrates a wicket with his signature salute.
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At SuperSport Park, Centurion

  • The West Indies got their T20 series off to a flyer after beating South Africa by three wickets in the first game on Saturday.
  • South Africa made 131/8 in their 11 overs in the rain-shorted game, but Rovman Powell ensured the visitors got over the line with three balls remaining.
  • The teams will convene for the second T20 at SuperSport Park on Sunday.

Aiden Markram's T20 captaincy started on a soggy and losing note when the Proteas lost the first T20 against the West Indies by three wickets in Centurion on Saturday.

RECAP | Proteas v West Indies - 1st T20

He was out-gunned and out-lucked by his Windies captain Rovman Powell, who won a crucial toss and followed up with a critical 42* off 17 balls to ensure South Africa's 131/8 was matched by 132/7.

Overnight rain that continued through the morning and afternoon saw the toss delayed by two hours and 15 minutes, with the game starting at 16:00 and cut to 11 overs a side. 

This rain-shortened game played into the Windies' hands and good fortune smiled on Powell when he won the toss and chose to field first.

Having kept SA to a manageable score, all that was needed was bursts of scoring from the batters to ensure they got home safely.

The opening stand between Kyle Mayers (6) and Brandon King  (23) lasted five balls, but had 17 runs scored before Mayers was caught by Quinton de Kock off a leading edge from a Bjorn Fortuin delivery (1/42).

King and Johnson Charles (28) also shared a 17-run stand scored off three balls more before the former somehow allowed a Sisanda Magala full toss to flick his bails.

Where SA experienced the most fear was during the 32-run third-wicket stand between Nicholas Pooran (16) and Charles that came off 13 balls.

The Windies had a combination of a proven T20 batter and a bonafide hitter, but their dangerous stand ended with the score on 66 when Pooran edged an Anrich Nortje (1/17) delivery through to De Kock.

Charles, being the chancer that he is, hit out one too many times and was smartly caught at long-on by Nortje off Tabraiz Shamsi (1/27), who had to throw the ball back into the field to complete his catch.

That wicket roused Powell, who has had a rough time when fielding in the ODIs, with the skipper taking the long handle to the hosts.

He dominated the 36-run stand between himself and Romario Shepherd (3), who was run out by Wayne Parnell.

Odean Smith (5) though was bowled by Magala off the third ball of the second last over to give SA a bit of a sniff, with Akeal Hosein (0) skying the next ball to De Kock to put Magala on a hat-trick.

Roston Chase, who unusually came in at number nine, survived the hat-trick ball and edged the next one for four to narrow the Windies' last-over equation to eight runs.

After a dot ball and a wide off the first two balls of the last over bowled by Parnell, Powell then drilled the left-arm seamer for six, his fifth of his 17-ball knock and nudged a single to end a game the Windies always looked to win after their excellent start with the ball.  

Once De Kock (0) lost his wicket off the first ball of the game when he spooned his attempted sweep shot to Sheldon Cottrell of Hosein's (1/28) bowling, SA's batting lost immediate momentum.

It was dragged further back when Rilee Rossouw (10) picked out Powell at mid-off off Sheldon Cottrell (2/31) leaving SA at 21/2 after 1.4 overs.

Markram's (14) critical wicket was lost at the end of the fourth over when he holed out to Charles at mid-wicket off Alzarri Joseph (1/21) to leave SA at 40/3.

Reeza Hendricks (21) had initial trouble getting the ball off the square and when he feathered an Odean Smith delivery to Pooran, SA was reduced to 55/4.

With a bowling-heavy line-up that included three seamers and two spinners, it was shaky ground, but Hendricks' fall brought together David Miller and third ODI hero Heinrich Klaasen.

Klaasen (1) couldn't reprise his Potchefstroom heroics, slicing a Cottrell delivery to Charles at point, but Miller found the middle of the bat where his teammates couldn't.

Parnell came and went, but Magala (18*) stayed with him for a 47-run stand that came off only 13 balls that allowed SA to set the West Indies at least an asking rate of 10 runs an over.

There was a slight farcical end to SA's innings where Bjorn Fortuin (4) was run out off a no-ball off what should have been the last ball of the game.

That forced Nortje to face the last ball and did so successfully, but Powell wasn't about to be beaten

Scores in brief:

South Africa: 131/8 (David Miller 48, Reeza Hendricks 21, Sisanda Magala 18*, Odean Smith 2/27, Sheldon Cottrell 2/31, Romario Shepherd 1/20)

West Indies 132/7 (Rovman Powell 42*, Johnson Charles 28, Brandon King 23, Magala3/21, Anrich Nortje 1/17, Tabraiz Shamsi 1/27)

The West Indies won by three wickets

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