Player of the last two T20 games, Chris Gayle couldn’t take to the field in the last match of the series at Durban. As in the second T20 at Johannesburg, West Indies chose to field after winning the toss with the idea of chasing the score rather than setting a target. But since they didn’t have Gayle in their fold, sparks were missing despite a reasonably good start. In the end, the later order batsmen couldn’t click against some spirited performance in the field by South Africans and West Indies suffered the loss by a wide margin. Morne Van Wyk made a fine century for South Africa and it proved to be a match-winning effort unlike du Plessis’ similar effort in the second T20 game, which went in vain.
Being a wicketkeeper, Morne Van Wyk is one unlucky guy. Despite his heroics, he finds it difficult to get into South African side, because he is the third choice behind Quinton de Kock and AB de Villiers. You can’t have too many wicketkeepers playing in one match. So Van Wyk will have to wait for a while. On January 14, however, it was Van Wyk, who spearheaded the South African assault once West Indies captain Darren Sammy asked the hosts to bat first after he won the toss. Van Wyk got some support from Reeza Hendricks but by and large it was a single-handed effort. At Kingsmead, Van Wyk came as the opener with Hendricks and stayed at the crease for 85 minutes and all of the 20 overs. In the process he scored 114 and remained unbeaten. In the 70 balls that he faced, he scored 9 fours and 7 sixes as South Africa ended with 195/3. A chase of 196 was quite possible as West Indies showed in the previous game but they didn’t have the fiery Gayle, who had the recurrence of his back injury. South Africa went for the kill after the first over produced just 1 run. Initially, it was Hendricks, who looked like leading the charge but very soon Van Wyk took over from him. They raced to 53/0 at the end of 5 overs and kept the momentum going. Reeza Hendricks got out in the 13th over, when the batsman got a bit impatient after being kept quiet for a while. He tried to hit Kieron Pollard out of the ground but ended up holing out to the deep midwicket. David Wiese was the next batsman and he, in the company of Van Wyk, added invaluable 47 runs for the second wicket to take the score to 158 in the 18th over. In the meanwhile, Van Wyk continued to score briskly despite losing next man Rilee Rossouw for a duck. JP Duminy and Van Wyk blasted the last over for 23 runs and South Africa finished with 195/3.
When West Indies came on to chase 196 for victory, they began quite well in putting on 48 for the first wicket in 5 overs. But once Dwayne Smith got out, the scenario changed. Marlon Samuels, who had come up with good knocks in the last two matches, could add only 6. Lendl Simmons was the only batsman, who stood out among the heap of his cheaply falling colleagues. Coming in as the opener, Simmons carried on until the 9th over and scored 49 off 31 balls. Scoring rate dropped even as Bravo, Pollard and Russel reached double figure scores and the entire innings folded for 126 runs in 19 overs. David Wiese was the most successful South African bowler, accounting for 5 wickets for 23 runs as the hosts clinched the match by 69 runs. fittingly, Van Wyk received the player of the match award.
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