West Indies leave Proteas on the brink – World T20

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By Lee Dolbear

  • Windies keep 100% record to book semi final place
  • South Africa hanging by a thread
  • Australia win eliminates Pakistan

NAGPUR and MOHALI, INDIA – West Indies kept perfection to book a semi final berth at the expense of South Africa in Group 1, Pakistan knocked out of the competition by Australia in Group 2

Good Friday was made great for the West Indies today as they secured their third victory in as many games and cemented a semi final place. After winning the toss in Nagpur skipper Darren Sammy asked South Africa to bat.

It wasn’t a great start for the Proteas as Hashim Amla was run out in the opening over for just a single. But the consistent Quinton De Kock kept his cool on a pitch where the ball never looked as though it was coming on. He scored 47 at just over a run a ball when all around him were crumbling.

Only David Weise (28) Chris Morris (16*) and AB De Villiers (10) got into double figures, some containing bowling, intense fielding and a superb Chris Gayle delivery to dismiss David Miller tied South Africa down to post 122/8. It certainly looked lean, particularly if Gayle got going in reply.

He didn’t. Kagiso Rabada (1/38) had his off stump out of the ground with his fifth delivery. That wicket alone send a few nerves jangling in the Windies dugout. Although Johnson Charles (32) and the magnificent Marlon Samuels (43) kept the required run rate needed in check and by the halfway point looked to be cruising to victory.

Then it twisted and it turned.

The excitement was ramped up when Weise took the wicket of Johnson, he also caught Dwayne Bravo (8) off the bowling of Aaron Phangiso. Even more drama was to follow when leg spinner Imran Tahir (2/13) bagged the wickets of Andre Russell and Sammy in consecutive balls to ignite the crowd, leaving West Indies needing 23 off 19.

It was Carlos Brathwaite (10*) and Denesh Ramdin who got them over the line with 2 balls to spare and propelling them into the semis, they won by 3 wickets. The result means South Africa are left teetering on the brink, they need other results to go their way even if the beat Sri Lanka on Monday.

Afterwards a relieved West Indies skipper Sammy told Sky Sports “I was smiling towards the end but inside I had butterflies. However, our aim was to qualify and we have done that, so I am happy. I am delighted with how we have responded under pressure.”

Earlier in Mohali, Australia got their second win of the tournament after beating Pakistan by 21 runs. The Aussies posted a mammoth 193/4 with captain Steve Smith (61*) and Shane Watson (44*) sharing the bulk of the runs they did however sweep aside Pakistan thanks to super bowling by man of the match James Faulkner who took 5 for 27.

Twice in different overs Faulkner took 2 wickets in consecutive balls to see the backs of Khalid Latif and Imad Wasim in the 18th over plus Sarfraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz in the final over.

Another stunning day of action it was but sadly we say goodbye to Pakistan

Saturday sees eliminated Bangladesh play New Zealand in Kolkata (9.30am) and England are facing Sri Lanka in Delhi (2pm)