1st T20I, St George's, Jun 26 2021, South Africa tour of West Indies
(15/20 ov)161/2
West Indies won by 8 wickets (with 30 balls remaining)
Player Of The Match
71 (35)
end of over 1515 runs
WI: 161/2CRR: 10.73 
Andre Russell23 (12)
Chris Gayle32 (24)
Lungi Ngidi 3-0-46-0
George Linde 2-0-24-0

A resounding win for West Indies to kick start the T20I series with a big blow for South Africa. 161 chased down with that ease is a real task, and with the second game only tomorrow, don't forget to join us as South Africa seek an answer. Until then, this is Himanshu signing off on behalf of Binoy, Raghav and Hemant. Goodnight and goodbye!

James : "5 overs to spare is a lot in T20! This West Indies team is going to be a formidable opponent in the world T20."

And here's Kieron Pollard, who might find it difficult to comprehend what just happened: "We spoke about trying to hit the first punch. Credit to our bowlers how they came back in the middle stages. 160 was under par, and when we play one-day games here, the totals are pretty high. [Lewis is] a talented cricketer, and we hope that consistency can continue. We have a young team from a Test side point of view, but we [the T20I side] have an experience of playing these guys [South Africa] around the world."

Temba Bavuma wears a dejected look: "Obviously disappointed. As a team, we need to have hard discussions and come up with a better plan. We thought 160 was a decent score - probably below par - and like I said, we need to have those conversations. In the last ten overs [with the bat], we didn't capitalise as well as we should have. They obviously played quite well. Lewis and Fletcher got them off to a flyer, and they never gave us a chance after that. We need to be a bit more sound mentally, and come tomorrow with a better attitude."

Let's hear from the captains then.

Lewis, the Player of the Match, sums it up: "I was backing my ability. It was an excellent wicket for batting, and most important is to cash in. Once I see balls in my area, I try and hit. We felt they were 30-40 runs short. [A century] crossed my mind (laughs), but if I score 70 and the team wins, I'm happy! Pretty good start for us [in the series]."

Cric Fan: "West Indies bowlers won the match for them, given the power hitting and the short boundaries. Well done."

Rahul Sargam : "Windies scored 126 runs in those 161 with fours and sixes, losing only two wickets. That shows it all. This team has monsters and can beat anyone. Always love to see windies playing their favorite format. Pollard is the perfect man to lead and get that world cup again. Nailed it, worth being awake so far "

Sarah : "Oh he heard you all right" --- And sent that crashing!

5.38pm West Indies have won, and we can all breathe for now. Three sixes each for Russell and Gayle to wrap up the game with five overs to go, after Lewis took off from ball one with a 35-ball 71 that set the tone for the chase. Fletcher too made an attacking 30, and South Africa were never really in the game when it came to defending that total. 160 was never going to be enough, and the fact that South Africa lacked a sixth bowling option meant West Indies had sealed it much before it was actually over.

Ngidi to Russell, SIX runs

that makes a clattering sound after hitting a seat beyond the deep midwicket fence, and that's that. Typical of Russell to make room to allow himself a free swing of the arms, with Ngidi bowling short on off and Russell tonking it to round off with the maximum

Ngidi to Russell, no run

and he's beaten by the lack of pace. Fuller and outside off, and Russell's pull only finds the thin air

Six to win. Are you listening, Russell?

Ngidi to Gayle, 1 run

change of pace and short of a length ball on middle and off. Gayle lets that come to him, and bunts that to square leg

Ngidi to Russell, 1 run

short of a length on middle and off, pulled to deep midwicket

West Indies just two hits away now.

Ngidi to Russell, SIX runs

full-toss on leg, and flicked to the second tier. Perhaps searching for the yorker, Ngidi bowls very full as Russell uses his wrists after clearing his front leg to send that over deep fine leg

Around the wicket to Russell.

Barns: "No other team ever hits these many sixes , this team is a class apart."

Ngidi to Gayle, 1 run

full-toss on the pads, flicks to deep square leg

Ngidi returns, over the wicket

end of over 1416 runs
WI: 146/2CRR: 10.42 RRR: 2.50
Andre Russell10 (8)
Chris Gayle30 (22)
George Linde 2-0-24-0
Kagiso Rabada 3-0-32-0
Linde to Russell, FOUR runs

clears his front leg, and whips that away between deep midwicket and deep square leg. Fullish on middle and leg, and Russell makes room to clobber that for four. West Indies in a hurry here.

Linde to Russell, no run

driven to extra cover, as Linde bowls full on off

Around the wicket to the right-hander too.

Linde to Gayle, 1 run

good length ball and Gayle again goes across, but can only get it to deep square leg

Linde to Gayle, no run

very full and flighted on middle and leg, pushed to midwicket

Linde to Gayle, FOUR runs

Gayle takes half a step across, and hammers that aerially past the left of the bowler. Plays this full ball outside off like a half-volley, and hammered for four

Linde to Gayle, 1 wide

goes very full and wide of off, left alone and called a wide

Around the wicket now

Azweer: "Just noticed. It's Game no. 50 for Dre Russ" --- Thanks for pointing that out,

Linde to Gayle, SIX runs

good length and outside off, pulled over deep midwicket. Waits for the ball to come while sitting deep in his crease. Blown away!

Linde is back. Over the wicket.

end of over 136 runs
WI: 130/2CRR: 10.00 RRR: 4.42
Andre Russell6 (6)
Chris Gayle19 (18)
Kagiso Rabada 3-0-32-0
Tabraiz Shamsi 4-0-27-1
Rabada to Russell, no run

and ends the over with a yorker. Jammed by Russell on off stump to finish with five dots

Rabada to Russell, no run

that's four dots in a row after that first-ball six. Another slower ball on a good length just outside off, and Russell can't get bat on ball on his pull

Rabada to Russell, no run

short ball again on off, and this was angling in at 139kph. Russell backs away to pull, but is again beaten

Rabada to Russell, no run

change of pace on a good length on off, and Russell is beaten on his pull

Rabada to Russell, no run

and tries to repeat that shot, but is beaten. This was fuller from that previous ball, but was again on off. Russell swings his bat, but can't get the ball hit

Rabada to Russell, SIX runs

Makes room, clears his front leg and pulls that disdainly over deep square leg. Short ball on off, and he swings his bat first ball for the maximum. Phew, he's got that right off the screws!

Rabada is back. Over the wicket.

Tom de Sailor: "Chris Gayle could notch up a rare explosive innings here or there, bit against a good bowling line up, he'll come up short. I think given the vast pool of talent that the Windies have to chose from, they're better off without him. What say?" --- West Indies certainly see him in their plans for the T20 World Cup, and hence those opportunities.