CENTURION - West Indies got off to a stupendous start in the T20I series after winning the opening match by three wickets at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. Rain threatened to play spoilsport, after which the game was curtailed to 11 overs per side. The decision to field first backfired big time for the West Indies as the hosts racked up a massive score of 131 for the loss of eight wickets. Quinton de Kock and Rilee Rossouw perished early, after which the Proteas scored 119 runs off their next 56 balls. Reeza Hendricks smashed two sixes to score 21 before Odean Smith accounted for his wicket. But it was David Miller, who was majorly responsible for South Africa posting a huge score. The southpaw raced to 48 runs off 22 balls with the help of four fours and three sixes. The home team got a brisk finish after scoring 43 runs off their last two overs. Sisanda Magala took on Sheldon Cottrell and scored 18 runs off five balls. In the last over, Miller smashed Smith for two fours, followed by a six, before getting dismissed. West Indies made a fast start after scoring 17 runs in the first over of their run-chase. But they also lost the wicket of Kyle Mayers to Bjorn Fortuin. Brandon King threw his hands to score 23 runs off eight balls.
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Nicholas Pooran smashed his way to 16 off seven, after which Anrich Nortje accounted for his wicket. However, the most important came from skipper Rovman Powell, who made the game a one-sided affair in the eighth over of West Indies’ run-chase. Powell smashed Fortuin for three sixes and a four, taking 25 runs off that over. Anrich Nortje tried to bring South Africa with a three-run over, but by then it was all too late. With eight runs needed off the last over, Powell hit Parnell for a six over square leg. In the end, Powell stayed unbeaten on 43 off 18 with one four and five sixes as the West Indies chased down the target with three balls to spare. Rovman Powell, player of the match, said: “I was disappointed with the way I got out in the ODIs. Just trying to bat through the tough periods. Today, the first ball I was respectful and I tried to push it around. A lot of guys in the team are used to the T10 format and that helped us. The ball travels so nicely here and we knew that 130 is gettable. All we needed was for two batters to bat long.”
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