Sun | Jun 16, 2024

King, Sammy happy with Windies progress after sweep

Published:Monday | May 27, 2024 | 12:11 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
West Indies opener Johnson Charles pulls off the front foot on his way to 69 in the final T20 International of a three-match series against South Africa at Sabina Park yesterday.
West Indies opener Johnson Charles pulls off the front foot on his way to 69 in the final T20 International of a three-match series against South Africa at Sabina Park yesterday.
Player of the Series, Gudakesh Motie,  bowls during the final game of that series against South Africa at Sabina Park yesterday.
Player of the Series, Gudakesh Motie, bowls during the final game of that series against South Africa at Sabina Park yesterday.
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IN A captivating showdown at Sabina Park, the West Indies secured a resounding eight-wicket victory over South Africa, clinching the third T20I and sweeping the series 3-0.

The hosts’ formidable performance was spearheaded by an explosive batting display, led by captain Brandon King and the dynamic Johnson Charles, as the home side chased down a target of 164 with remarkable ease, finishing the game with 37 balls to spare.

South Africa, after winning the toss, decided to make first use of the Sabina Park surface but got off to a shaky start, losing early wickets.

Despite a valiant effort from skipper Rassie van der Dussen, who played a captain’s innings with a brisk 51, the Proteas struggled to build substantial partnerships.

Wiaan Mulder’s cameo of 36 provided a late flourish, guiding the Proteas to a respectable total of 163 for seven at the end of their allotted 20 overs.

Obed McCoy, who replaced the injured Jason Holder in the World Cup squad, was the pick of the bowlers with three for 39, while Shamar Joseph and Gudakesh Motie finished with two wickets each.

In pursuit, the West Indies got off to a flying start, courtesy of an explosive partnership between King and Charles.

Charles, in particular, was in scintillating form, smashing a blistering 69 off just 26 deliveries, laced with nine boundaries and five towering sixes. His pyrotechnics propelled the Windies to a commanding position, with King also contributing 44 from 28 balls, including two fours and four sixes.

Despite losing a couple of wickets in quick succession, Kyle Mayers held his nerve and played a composed innings, guiding his team across the finish line with an unbeaten 36 from 23 balls, with Alick Athanaze providing the finishing touches to ensure that there were no further hiccups as the West Indies cruised to victory with plenty of overs to spare.

Charles was fittingly adjudged the Player of the Match for his scintillating innings.

Motie was named the Player of the Series for his consistent performances with the ball throughout.

For stand-in captain Brandon King, the series victory was a testament to the team’s work over the past few weeks.

“I am extremely happy after winning all three games, and I could not have asked for a better result. We had some consistent performers, with Motie being outstanding with the ball, and in every game, someone contributed with the bat, especially the top order.”

West Indies coach Darren Sammy shared the same sentiment as King, saying that the execution was spot on heading into the T20 World Cup.

“The role play was excellent from the players. The openers, the batters in the middle and also being effective with the ball in the power play. I am pleased that the guys went out and understood their specific roles, and that is testament to the work we have been doing.”

South Africa captain Rassie van der Dussen lamented his team being short of the mark during the three-game series.

“From a batting front, I think we needed to be braver, similar to how the West Indies played, especially in the power play. From a bowling point of view, we tried different things that didn’t seem to work, but we have to continue to try things to see what will work for us sooner rather than later.”