West Indies v South Africa, 1st T20, Antigua May 19, 2010

South Africa grab 13-run win in tour opener

The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill

South Africa 136 for 7 (Kallis 53, Pollard 2-22) beat West Indies 123 (Pollard 27, McLaren 5-19) by 13 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Jacques Kallis's 45-ball 53 set up South Africa's total of 136 for 7, and Ryan McLaren was gifted a five-wicket haul as West Indies sank to a 13-run defeat in the first Twenty20 at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium at North Sound. Coming in after the early dismissal of Loots Bosman, Kallis struck three sixes in his innings to take South Africa to 136 for 7 in trying batting conditions. West Indies' chase never really got going, and they were always behind the asking rate after Chris Gayle fell early, losing wickets at regular intervals thereafter.

Indeed, there was a certain staleness to proceedings with the match coming so soon after the World Twenty20 in the West Indies, and it showed in the low-intensity, sloppy performance from both sides. Add to that the abject quality of the umpiring, and the low attendance at the ground, and one was left with a distinct sense of disappointment at an international engagement that, at times, bordered on the embarrassing.

Bosman's departure set an early tone for proceedings, as he gave himself out caught down the leg side in the third over, to what the umpire had decided was a wide. For those who see walking as something to be celebrated, it was a pleasing sight, but it set a farcical tone which never really picked up.

On a tacky pitch Graeme Smith never quite found his range, unable to time his leg-side swats off the wily Sulieman Benn and eventually he too fell in peculiar circumstances - wrongly giving himself out stumped. The shot itself wasn't great, with Smith attempting a reverse-sweep off Nikita Miller's first ball, overbalancing and allowing the impressive Andre Fletcher to whip off the bails.

Smith picked himself up and strode off, only to find his dressing room urging him to turn back. Replays showed the bails had been removed with Smith's heel still grounded but, having reached the boundary edge, there was little Smith could do but smile and trudge off. It was odd to see such a fierce competitor grinning at his self-inflicted downfall, but seemed apt given the low-profile feel to the game.

Kallis continued to swish sixes and mis-time singles, reaching what, in the circumstances, was an excellent 50 off 41 balls and looked set to take the game away from West Indies when an uppish pull hit a strong headwind and left him caught on the square-leg boundary.

In between time the ball would occasionally pitch and fly from just back of a length, but the pitch had settled out somewhat by the time West Indies began their chase. South Africa opted to open the bowling with Roelof van der Merwe but Gayle was immediately into an attacking stride, stroking two powerful shots down the ground on either side of the bowler in the first over.

Fletcher continued his batting struggles at international level, however, pushing leaden-footed at a length delivery outside off stump from McLaren, only to send an edge through to AB de Villiers, who took a smart catch tumbling to his right. Despite the early wicket, when Dwayne Bravo thumped a brace of confident leg-side boundaries it looked as though West Indies would make a fist of their chase in trying conditions, but when Gayle spooned a McLaren cutter to Smith at deep mid-on, the home side began to struggle.

Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan aimed for the gaps and ran hard, but boundaries were hard to come by and the asking rate quickly began to climb. Feeling the pressure, Bravo tried to break the shackles with a heave down the ground but could only get as far as Hashim Amla, the substitute fielder, at long on. His dismissal sparked something of a collapse, as Narsingh Deonarine was stumped off a leg-side wide and, five balls later, Sarwan chipped an easy catch to Alviro Petersen at cover off a leading edge.

Darren Sammy and Kieron Pollard briefly re-grouped before starting to play their shots, and when Pollard took two fours from a Charl Langeveldt over and then crunched McLaren straight back over his head for six it seemed West Indies might have enough left in the tank for a late charge. But McLaren got his revenge immediately afterwards, as Pollard played all round a full, swinging delivery that made a mess of his stumps.

The match came to a bizarre end as, in the penultimate over, Dale Steyn sent down four wides and a no-ball, Jerome Taylor was run out as he attempted to sneak a bye and both batsmen ended up at the same end, and Benn was given not out after he had sent a clear, thick edge through to de Villiers. McLaren dismissed Benn to wrap up the innings with a ball to spare to claim his fifth wicket, but one can only hope for a better performance from everyone concerned in tomorrow's game.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • A on May 20, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    I wonder how some of the ex-players from SA are not talking about IPL now that SA won this game. Whenever any team losses, IPL is to be blamed. Mclaren was one of the best bowlers during IPL 3 and played a big part in carrying Mumbain Indians to the finals. same goes with Kallis & Styen. They both carried their form from IPL, whereas Duminy was out of touch that's the reason that he sat out for most of the matches.

    Watch out for Bravo & Pollard in the next game.

  • Tajal on May 20, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    Same batting ineptitude from West Indies. Another Gayle flameout, another tortured Sarwan innings, another quick 20 odd score from Pollard followed by his dismissal, another duck for Fletcher, another run a ball 20 from Bravo, another collapse. More of the same. Its getting very easy to predict the result of this team. Gayle has promised that this series is the last chance for some of these batsmen so we only have that to look forward to. Fletcher's inclusion in this team is testament to the Board's desperation, as they hope to high heaven that he replicates his deeds done in Standford 20/20. He was amazing in that series but, just as every other young WI saviour, his weaknesses are quickly exposed and his success is halted quite quickly. He is now equal to solid waste. He has one last match to prove himself before he is terminated. Sarwan has not proven that he is right for 2020, and both Bravo and Deonarine are underperforming. Where's Barath by the way?

  • mad on May 20, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    AB de villiers rocks with the gloves

  • Dummy4 on May 20, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    I agree with Tinker-Bell. JP Duminy is a fantastic player, but he is horribly out of form and it's affecting the team. Smith is also out of form but his innings yesterday showed promise, despite the general scratchiness. So unless you're going to bowl with JP, leave him out of the T20 team. There is minimal room for batsmen who can't contribute in other ways while out of form.

    I also rate AB de Villiers as a player, and he is a good keeper but we need him in the field, with a specialist keeper/batsman. Although everyone is raving about Kieswetter largely based on his contributions for England recently, it seems to me that he would have been a perfect successor to one of the best keepers in the world, Mark Boucher. Wouldn't SA love to have him as an option now? I'm sure that they would.

    Lets hope that tonights game is overall better, and that the performance from the Proteas is more clinical.

  • sreejith on May 20, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Again another bad show by WI i think ramdin should have been selected and played as one down

  • Vaibhav on May 20, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    WI - the same sorry story continues :( ..... the only wicket the opposition needs is Gayle's, the rest will follow.

  • Peter on May 20, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    How long will the SA selectors persist in selecting JP Duminy for the 20Twenty format. His recent form reveals that in his last 13 innings he has only scored 163 runs at an average of 12.5 . Surely it is time for change. Boucher, Smith,Kallis and Devilliers are all above 25 av. over the past 13 innings, so the problem is not with the old guard.

  • Pierre on May 20, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    SA 7's rugby... when the large unions wouldn't (or couldn't) release key players, the 7's administrators brought in talent from developmental platforms and union 'B' teams. Look at them now. SA T20 should have its own squad, its own coach, its own everything... then it becomes a 'breeding/feeding' ground for the test squad (and possibly even a capture net for those 'local' boys who are being lost to our competitors). Just a thought!

  • Pierre on May 20, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    This could have been so very different. Smith & Kallis were lucky; some of those mis-timed lofted shots over point, gully & 2leg could easily have gone to hand. Then what. Lets not be fooled. It was another poor performance, against a team who is struggling to find form. Full marks to AB with the mitts - he 'kept' nicely. I hope the 'masters of the universe' dont keep him in the position too long (or beyond T20) because we will be loosing the 1 trademark SA does take ownership of: the point fielder. Jonty's spot. AB was awesome there. Who now?

  • Ron on May 20, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    I hope that Haroon Lorgat of the ICC orders an investigation into the administrative arrangements for this farce. The umpiring was farcial, and the pitch no better. No-one could be expected to play a reasonable game with such poor umpiring on a"pitch" like that.

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