Aiden Markram half-century hands Proteas 1st win
Posted by Aditya Mehta | Oct 26, 2021
Aiden Markram hit the fastest half-century of the tournament thus far as the Proteas beat the Windies by 8 wickets to pick up their first T20 World Cup win.
In South Africa’s must-win encounter against the West Indies, South Africa won by 8 wickets and 10 balls to spare.
In a noteworthy development, Cricket South Africa, this morning, directed all players of the national team to take the knee to protest racism. Soon after, senior wicket-keeper-batter, Quinton de Kock, made himself unavailable for the game. It was later confirmed that de Kock was opposed to the directive requiring all players to take the knee. With a senior player pulling out of an important game, it placed additional pressure on the team to deliver.
Proteas skipper, Temba Bavuma, won the toss and was elected to field first.
After West Indies’ initial onslaught, with Evin Lewis top-scoring with 56 off 35, the South African bowling attack did well to restrict the West Indies to 143/8 in 20 overs.
Dwaine Pretorius was the standout bowler, picking three wickets and conceding 17 runs in two overs. His subtle variations of pace made it challenging for the batters to attack him. In particular, he was assigned the responsibility of bowling the high-pressure death overs, and Pretorius ensured that the momentum towards the end of the innings remained with the Proteas.
Keshav Maharaj was impressive as well, picking two wickets and conceding 24 runs in his quota of 4 overs.
Chasing 144 in 20 overs, South Africa lost Temba Bavuma early. Quinton de Kock’s replacement, Reeza Hendricks, and Rassie van der Dussen went about rebuilding the innings with an important partnership of 57 runs. Hendricks was the aggressor in the partnership, finishing with 39 off 30 balls, while van der Dussen rotated strike efficiently.
Despite Hendrick’s wicket, South Africa continued to take the attack to the West Indies, as Aiden Markram came out all guns blazing to take his team home.
Van der Dussen finished with 43 off 51, showcasing his versatility in the manner in which he ensured that South Africa was never out of the game. Aiden Markram finished with 51 off 26, including two boundaries and four sixes.
PHOTO: EPA/DAVID GRAY