Windies Bite The Dust

South Africa turned up the heat when it mattered most, condemning West Indies to the ignominious position of seeing but not holding the 2024 World Cup.

The team from the African continent have booked their place in the semi-finals following a tense three-wicket victory over West Indies on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. 

Following England’s success over co-hosts the United States on Sunday, the game in Antigua was a straight shootout to decide the other side to progress from Group 2. 

The Proteas elected to bowl first and looked in control, having restricted West Indies to 135-8, with Tabraiz Shamsi starring in their attack (3-27). 

However, Andre Russell struck twice in the second over of the chase, seeing Reeza Hendricks (1) and Quinton de Kock (7) fall to leave South Africa 15-2.

The West Indies’ momentum was halted, though, following a spell of rain at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, forcing the players off the pitch for over an hour. 

South Africa returned with a new target from their remaining 17 overs, and although Roston Chase, who made 52 with the bat, took three wickets, the Proteas withstood the pressure as Marco Jansen sealed the win with a six with five balls remaining. 

In the aftermath, the Proteas captain said, “A lot of relief to get through to the semi-final. Not going to be brain-washed by that. We would have liked to be more convincing with bat in hand. After the rain break, the wicket was playing nicely. Did not get the partnerships to then kill the game. Tried to kill it (the chase) too early. Massive for us and fantastic for the change room but hopefully we can avoid those tricky situations (moving forward).”

Meanwhile, Windies captain said, “Credit has to be given to the boys, they fought till the very end. As a batting group, this is a performance you’d want to forget. We did not bat well in the middle. It was not an easy wicket, especially to get started. In the middle overs, we lost wickets in clusters. That broke the back of our batting team. It was a commendable bowling effort. We said we wanted to give it our all.”

Readers Bureau, Contributor

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