Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Windies title bid on the rocks after South Africa defeat

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Dubai – West Indies’ bid for a third ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup title were left in tatters after an explosive 56 from Evin Lewis failed to inspire them and they stumbled to an eight-wicket defeat against South Africa on Tuesday.

Lewis cracked three fours and six sixes from 35 balls and set a solid foundation, but the rest of the Windies batting again failed to ignite, and they ended on 143 for eight from 20 overs after they were put into bat at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

But the Caribbean side were unable to make inroads into the South African batting, and Aiden Markram hit an unbeaten 51 from 26 balls, Rassie van der Dussen supported with 43 not out and Reeza Hendricks made 39 from 30 balls to lead the Proteas to victory.

“It’s just a matter that we haven’t scored enough runs,” West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said. “Our batters so far on tour have not come to the party in terms of knowing what we can do, and again, it’s disappointing.

“I thought the first six overs, the end-result of 43 without loss and not losing wickets in the Power Play, we would have taken that, and then we expected to just keep that momentum going through the middle overs.

“I thought we lost a couple of wickets, it was a kind of stop-start position, and then we were not able to finish it off and lost wickets in the back end.”

It was the second successive defeat for West Indies after they slumped to a six-wicket defeat against England in their first match this past Saturday at the same venue, after folding for an embarrassing 55 inside 15 overs before Eoin Morgan’s side romped to victory inside nine overs.

The result intensified the pressure on the Windies to win their remaining matches in Group 1 – against Bangladesh on Friday, Sri Lanka on November 4, and Australia two days later – to stand a semblance of a chance to reach the semi-finals.

Only the top two teams from each of the tournament’s two groups will advance to the final four and a shot to play for the title.

(AR)

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