1st T20I, Kingston, May 23, 2024, South Africa tour of West Indies [May 2024]
(19.5/20 ov, T:176) 147

West Indies won by 28 runs

Player Of The Match
79 (45)
Cricinfo's MVP
125.2 ptsImpact List

Hendricks' 87 in vain as King shines on home soil for West Indies

The hosts were on track for a bigger total before a late collapse but were still able to come away with victory

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
Brandon King brought up a fine half-century, West Indies vs India, 5th men's T20I, Lauderhill, August 13, 2023

Brandon King led the way for West Indies with the bat (file photo)  •  Getty Images

West Indies 175 for 8 (King 79, Baartman 3-26, Phehlukwayo 3-28) beat South Africa 147 (Hendricks 87, Motie 3-25, Forde 3-27) by 28 runs
T20 World Cup co-hosts West Indies got on the front foot in their final preparations for the tournament with a commanding 28-run win over South Africa, their biggest margin of victory over them batting first. Neither side had their first-choice XI available, with some players rested or still at the IPL, but West Indies will be pleased with their dominance at home, especially as this was the first international at Sabina Park in almost two years.
Home boy Brandon King, captaining in place of Rovman Powell, set the tone with an aggressive 45-ball 79. He also shared in a 79-run second-wicket partnership with Kyle Mayers, who is not in the T20 World Cup squad. King was the mainstay as West Indies built a healthy platform with scores of 64 for 1 in the Powerplay and 109 for 1 at the halfway stage, but they lost 6 for 40 between the 14th and final over to finish on 175 for 8.
South Africa will have been encouraged with their bowling comeback, especially the early signs from Ottneil Baartman. On T20I debut, Baartman dismissed Johnson Charles early on but then pulled up in his delivery stride after 10 balls, with what looked like a left knee niggle. However, he completed the over and went on to take 3 for 26. Allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo also finished with three wickets in his quota of four overs.
South Africa's much talked-about top order was reduced to 35 for 3 in the fifth over and neither Quinton de Kock nor Ryan Rickelton made it into double figures with the latter struggling to find the boundary. While West Indies hit seven fours and eight sixes in the first 10 overs, South Africa scored eight fours and one six. South Africa needed 99 runs off the last 10 overs and though Reeza Hendricks went on a career-best 87 off 51 balls, his surge came too late. Gudakesh Motie's 3 for 25 and Obed McCoy's 2 for 15 meant South Africa were too far behind and eventually dismissed for 147 in the final over.

King Brandon

On his home ground, and in his first match as an international captain, King dominated South Africa upfront and set the tone for West Indies comeback to Sabina Park. He enjoyed the bulk of the strike in the first three overs and capitalised on that. He faced 16 out of 18 balls and scored 28, including three fours and two sixes.
By contrast, Charles, only saw two balls and had not scored a run. Charles became Baartman's first international wicket but King went on to record his fastest T20I fifty off 26 balls and was closing in on his highest score in a display headlined by innovative movement at the crease which included exposing his stumps. Phehlukwayo eventually benefitted from King making room, when he sent down a full, wide ball that King had to reach for, and toe-ended it to van der Dussen, who ran to his right from the covers. King was dismissed at the end of the 11th over for 79, six fewer than his T20I career best.

West Indies' middle order gives way

After King's start, West Indies should have been eyeing a total above 200 but their middle order was unable to back up their stand-in captain's start. No-one from Andre Fletcher down was able to get into double figures and Matthew Forde's 5 was the highest score outside the top four. Fletcher and Fabian Allen were guilty of trying to play Phehlukwayo across the line and were bowled and trapped lbw respectively, while Akeal Hosein and Forde were deceived by Baartman's variations. Hosein was bowled by a wobble seam delivery and Forde pulled a knuckle ball square of the wicket. Motie's run-out in the final over meant West Indies lost 6 for 40 in the final third of their innings.

Forde's first

After figures of 0 for 54 in his first T20I, against England last December, Forde may have wondered if he was due to chase leather again when de Kock hit his first ball for four. It was a remarkably timed shot, with no footwork at all, as de Kock struck Forde straight down the ground. But the young West Indian had the perfect riposte. His next delivery was wide of off stump, de Kock neglected to move his feet again and nicked behind. De Kock's dismissal for 4 meant that he has only crossed fifty three times in 30 innings, all in T20s, since his ODI retirement last November and has a top score of 12 from his last five trips to the crease.
Another Hendricks half-century
Hendricks controversially missed out on a spot in South Africa's starting XI at the 2022 T20 World Cup despite scoring four fifties in succession in the lead-up because he could not displace captain Temba Bavuma. But there should be no reason for him not to start the tournament this time. His 87 was his 10th T20 half-century of 2024 and 49th in his career and was the standout knock in a disappointing South African batting performance. He was the only player to score more than 20. The highlights of his performance were the way he timed the ball early on and then showed off his power hitting towards the end, albeit too late to take South Africa over the line.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent for South Africa and women's cricket

Win Probability
WI 100%
100%50%100%WI InningsSA Innings

Over 20 • SA 147/10

Reeza Hendricks c Mayers b Forde 87 (51b 6x4 6x6 91m) SR: 170.58
Ottneil Baartman b Forde 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 1m) SR: 0
West Indies won by 28 runs
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