Alzarri Joseph five-for seal series for West Indies

Alzarri Joseph five-for seal series for West Indies

South Africa failed to chase down a target of 221 runs at the Wanderers, falling just seven runs short of victory.
The West Indies secured a thrilling seven-run victory over South Africa at the Wanderers to win the T20I series. Romario Shepherd played a crucial role in the win with an unbeaten 44 off just 22 balls, and his ninth-wicket partnership with Alzarri Joseph of 59 runs off 26 balls helped the team to reach 220 for 8. Joseph also shone with the ball, claiming his maiden T20I five-for to ensure victory for the visitors.

Alzarri Joseph five-for seal series for West Indies
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Despite Reeza Hendricks’ career-best 83 and his 80-run partnership with Rilee Rossouw, South Africa struggled to keep up with the required run rate and finished 213 for 6. The West Indies could defend their total in challenging conditions, with the ball being greased up by dew and against a determined South African line-up.
The result sees the West Indies clinch their second successive T20I series win in South Africa, with only Sheldon Cottrell and Jason Holder remaining from the squad that won the trophy in 2015. Lungi Ngidi had a difficult start, conceding 22 runs in his opening over, with Brandon King smashing two sixes and a four.

South African bowler Kagiso Rabada made a significant comeback after Lungi Ngidi’s nightmare start. Rabada’s full, fast delivery knocked West Indian opener Kyle Mayers off his feet and sent him back to the pavilion. He followed it up by getting Johnson Charles out on the first ball, who failed to move his feet and inside-edged the ball onto his stumps. Anrich Nortje joined the wicket-taking party and dismissed Mayers, who walked across his stumps, by pitching it on the leg stump. Aiden Markram also chipped in, taking the wicket of Rovman Powell, who missed a slog and had his stumps rattled. At the halfway stage, West Indies were 108 for 4, and Ngidi redeemed himself by having Nicholas Pooran caught behind.

The West Indies were in trouble when they lost three wickets for just 21 runs between the 13th and 16th over, with not much batting left to come. However, Romario Shepherd and Alzarri Joseph came to their rescue, putting on the highest ninth-wicket partnership at the Wanderers. They scored 52 runs off the last three overs to ensure the West Indies reached over 200. During this partnership, Shepherd was given two chances; he edged Wayne Parnell, but wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock failed to hold on, and he skied a chance off Kagiso Rabada, which Heinrich Klaasen lost in the lights at fine leg. Shepherd ended the innings with a six over long-on, a four through mid-wicket, and an aerial drive over Rabada’s head in an over that cost 26 runs. He remained unbeaten on 44 off 22 balls, helping the West Indies post a challenging total.

South Africa began their chase cautiously, scoring only seven runs in the first two overs. However, Quinton de Kock quickly picked up the pace and began to find the boundary regularly. He hit three fours off Roston Chase’s second over and looked fine until he misread a delivery from Alzarri Joseph and edged it to Chase at third. Despite de Kock’s warning that the pitch was tricky, Rilee Rossouw was unfazed and immediately hit his first ball for four over extra cover. He then hit Joseph for six over point and another four through the covers. Rossouw scored 19 runs off his first six deliveries, and South Africa finished the Powerplay on the same score as West Indies, but with one fewer wicket lost.

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