Apr 072013

Shaun Pollock smashed an unbeaten 36 as South Africa claimed a four-wicket victory over the West Indies in the Twenty20 international at the New Wanderers.

Pollock shared an unbroken seventh-wicket stand of 57 from 33 deliveries with Albie Morkel as the Proteas chased down a target of 132 with four balls to spare.

The West Indies had looked in good shape with 20 runs required from the final two overs.

But the penultimate over – bowled by off-spinner Marlon Samuels – disappeared for 18 runs, including two sixes by Pollock, who is retiring from international cricket after the upcoming five-match one-day series between the two sides.

Gibbs gone

The run chase had started badly when Herschelle Gibbs was bowled for a duck by a full, swinging delivery during Jerome Taylor’s opening over.

And skipper Graeme Smith (4) followed in Taylor’s next over as the hosts slumped to 17-2.

AB de Villiers steadied the innings with 25 from 22 balls before becoming one of Darren Sammy’s three victims as South Africa subsided from 38-3 to 66-5.

Medium pacer Sammy removed Jean-Paul Duminy (13), de Villiers and Justin Ontong (14) to finish with figures of 3-21 from his four overs.

South Africa were reduced to 77-6 when Rawl Lewis hauled in a superb diving catch in the outfield to dimiss Mark Boucher (6).

But that brought Pollock and Morkel together and the West Indies’ bowlers had no answer to the seventh-wicket pair’s big hitting.

Both men struck two fours and two sixes as they guided their side home, Pollock finishing with 36 from 25 balls and Morkel 28 from 16 balls.

Captain Bravo

Dwayne Bravo led the West Indies as regular skipper Chris Gayle missed out due to a broken thumb.

Bravo top scored with 24 as his side recovered from a slow start to total 131-7 after opting to bat in damp and overcast conditions.

The tourists struggled to 48-3 at the mid-point of the innings with Devon Smith (12), Denesh Ramdin (19) and Samuels (4) back in the pavilion.

But Bravo, batting at number six, made 24 from 17 balls and Sammy contributed a run-a-ball 16 to ensure a respectable final total.

South Africa’s bowling attack produced a consistent display with the exception of spinner Ontong, whose two overs went for 25 runs.

Makhaya Ntini finished with the best figures of 2-22, while Pollock (1-19) and Morne Morkel (1-22) both delivered economical four-over spells.

The result means the Twenty20 series is shared 1-1, West Indies having triumped by five wickets in the first match back in December prior to the Test series, which South Africa won 2-1.

The two sides now embark on five one-day internationals, starting at Centurion on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

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