West Indies achieved their first victory on tour against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday evening. Chris Gayle produced the fastest T20 half century thus granting the West Indies a win with four-wicket win to spare.
The bizhub Highveld Lions batsman needed 17 balls to reach fifty, setting a new record to better the previous best by England batsman Kevin Pietersen and Umar Akmal of Pakistan of 27 balls. He showed no mercy to his club teammate young Kagiso Rabada (4-0-38-0) as he hit him for three sixes and two boundaries.
The visitors took a firm grasp of the match when Gayle and Devon Smith (20)’s partnership took 78 runs for the first wicket off just 6.1 overs. But thanks to Proteas’ legspinner Imran Tahir (4-0-28-3) who broke the partnership when he bowled Smith out with his first ball.
Hope sprung alive when Tahir bowled a ball just outside the off stump with wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk taking a good catch behind the stumps to give Gayle his matching orders.
After Gayle’s departure West Indies top order crumbled as they lost their next four wickets for 50 runs, with Marlon Samuels (41), Dwayne Bravo (eight), Andre Russell (six) and Denesh Ramdin (two) all also falling by the way side. That left the recent-Newlands darling, Kieron Pollard (eight not out) to finish the game off by hitting David Wiese (2.2-0-20-1) for four through mid-wicket to end the game.
Faf Du Plessis said that he thought they were the better team, and that Chris Gayle just won the game for them. The Protea captain conceded that if they had gotten Gayle out early, then we would have gone on to win the game.
SOUTH AFRICA: MN van Wyk (wk), RR Hendricks, RR Rossouw, F du Plessis (capt), DA Miller, F Behardien, D Wiese, WD Parnell, KJ Abbott, K Rabada, Imran Tahir
WEST INDIES: CH Gayle, DR Smith, MN Samuels, DJ Bravo, KA Pollard, D Ramdin (wk), DJG Sammy (capt), AD Russell, JO Holder, AR Nurse, SS Cottrell