Powell power flattens SA
Skipper leads Windies to victory with 18-ball 43 in 11-over slugfest
NEW WEST Indies Twenty20 International captain Rovman Powell started his reign with a bang yesterday when he dragged his side to a three-wicket win against South Africa (SA) and gave them a 1-0 lead in their three-match series.
Powell slugged one four and five sixes in the top score of 43 not out from 18 balls, holding his nerve in the closing overs, to lead a successful chase of 132 in a contest reduced to 11 overs a side because of adverse weather at Centurion Park.
The 29-year-old Jamaican entered the fray with West Indies halfway to their target in the fifth over on 66 for three and proceeded to dominate the remainder of the match with his explosive batting that earned him the Player-of-the Match award.
“After the disappointment of the (preceding) One Day Internationals (and) the way I got out, I had an honest talk with myself, I decided that I was just going to try to bat through the tough periods, and it worked out,” Powell said after play.
Opener Brandon King gave the chase a flying start with two fours and two sixes in 23 off only eight balls, and enabled West Indies to reach 46 for two after the three-over power play.
After King was bowled behind his back, moving too far inside the line to swing a full toss from burly pacer Sisanda Magala in the third over, two-time T20I World Cup-winning batsman Johnson Charles kept West Indies on track.
When Charles was caught on the long-on boundary off unorthodox left-arm spinner Tabraiz Shamsi in the sixth over for 28 off 14 balls that included one six and three fours, the visitors needed 56 from 32 balls.
Powell took charge of the chase, taking his only four and three sixes off left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin in the eighth over, reducing the equation to 20 from the last 18 balls.
But three wickets – two to Magala off successive balls in the penultimate over – added to the drama.
Powell kept his composure and formalised the result with three balls remaining when he swung left-arm pacer Wayne Parnell over square leg for six off the second ball of the final over, and tickled the next delivery into the leg-side for a single.
Magala was the most successful South African bowler with three for 21 from his allotted two overs.
“A lot of guys in the team are used to the T10 format and that helped us,” Powell said. “We know that the ball travels so nicely (at this ground), and we knew that 130 was gettable. All we needed was for two batters to bat long.
“We played a lot of shots, but there are still periods where you have to push it around,” he added. “You can’t keep hitting good bowlers for six, six, six. When you get good bowlers, good international bowlers, you’ve got to hit them for a six and get off the strike and let the non-striker do some of the work.”
The second T20I of the series takes place today at the same venue, and Powell said his side needed to execute if they are to condemn their opponents to a fourth successive T20I home series loss.
“We just have to do the basics right,” he said. “We saw how the ball travels, so the bowlers will come under a lot of pressure. But it’s important for us to get wickets with the new ball because that’s the only way to stop a strong South African batting line-up.”
Earlier, West Indies failed to maintain their intensity, and left-handed T20 specialist David Miller cracked 48 off 22 balls to propel South Africa to 131 for eight after they were put in to bat.
After rain delayed the start by two hours, left-arm spinner Hosein gave West Indies a dream start when he got Quinton de Kock caught at deep fine leg off the first ball of the match from a top-edged sweep.
Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell got Rilee Roussouw caught at mid-off for 10 from a sliced pull in the second over, but the South Africans ended the three-over power play strongly on 30 for two when Hosein conceded 16 from his second over that included two leg-side sixes to Reeza Hendricks.
West Indies rebounded and reduced the Proteas to 79 for six in the ninth over, but Miller blasted four fours and three sixes and put on 47 for the seventh wicket with Magala that gave the hosts something with which they could work.
SOUTH AFRICA (maximum 11 overs)
+Q. de Kock c Cottrell b Hosein 0
R. Hendricks c wk Pooran b Smith 21
R. Rossouw c Powell b Cottrell 10
*A. Markram c Charles b Joseph 14
D. Miller c Shepherd b Smith 48
H. Klaasen c Charles b Cottrell 1
W. Parnell c wk Pooran b Shepherd 4
S. Magala not out 18
B. Fortuin run out 4
A. Nortje not out 0
Extras (lb4, w6, nb1) 11
TOTAL (8 wkts, 11 overs) 131
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-12, 3-40, 4-52, 5-55, 6-61, 7-126, 8-131
Bowling: Hosein 2-0-28-1; Cottrell 3-0-31-2 (w2); Joseph 2-0-21-1 (w1); Shepherd 2-0-20-1 (w2); Smith 2-0-27-2 (nb1, w1).
WEST INDIES (target: 132 from 11 overs)
B. King b Magala 23
K. Mayers c wk de Kock b Fortuin 6
J. Charles c Nortje b Shamsi 28
+N. Pooran c wk de Kock b Nortje 16
*R. Powell not out 43
R. Shepherd run out 3
O. Smith b Magala 5
A. Hosein c wk de Kock b Magala 0
R. Chase not out 4
Extras (w4) 4
TOTAL (7 wkts, 10.3 overs) 132
A Joseph, S Cottrell did not bat
Fall of wickets: 1-17, 2-34, 3-66, 4-76, 5-112, 6-120, 7-120.
Bowling: Fortuin 2-0-42-1; Parnell 1.3-0-25-0; Magala 2-0-21-3; Shamsi 2-0-27-1; Nortje 3-0-17-1
Result: West Indies won by three wickets (3 balls remaining)
Series: West Indies lead the three-match series 1-0
Toss: West Indies
Player of the Match: R. Powell (West Indies)
Umpires: Bongani Jele, Allahudien Paleker
TV umpire: Adrian Holdstock
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: Shaun George.