South Africa fall short of another big run chase as Windies take series

By Sports Desk March 28, 2023

West Indies avoided a repeat of their remarkable, record-breaking defeat in the second T20I against South Africa by clinging on to win the series decider by seven runs.

The Windies had been on the wrong end of a historic run chase in the sides' previous encounter, the highest scoring Twenty20 match since the format was introduced.

But there would be no repeat in Johannesburg on Tuesday, even if Reeza Hendricks again made life difficult for the tourists after another strong Windies score of 220-8.

Hendricks was credited by centurion Quinton de Kock with inspiring the Proteas fightback in the second match, having contributed 68 off just 28 balls.

Missing De Kock's support, it was a one-man effort this time as Hendricks scored 83 off 43, not quite enough with South Africa falling short on 213-6.

West Indies had posted the second-highest T20I total not to include a single fifty but were also themselves grateful for the work of one batter in particular.

In a blockbuster conclusion to the first innings, Romario Shepherd had scored 26 from the final over to top-score with 44 from only 22 balls – the knock that ultimately proved the difference.

Phenomenal finish sees Windies safe

South Africa handed the ball to Kagiso Rabada with some confidence ahead of the 20th over, with the bowling superstar having restricted the Windies to 2-24 from his previous three overs.

Yet Shepherd, twice put down by De Kock, smashed Rabada all around the ground to set a daunting target. As a result, the Proteas needed to match Shepherd with 26 off the last but could only manage 18.

Repeat proves beyond Proteas

While Hendricks remained in the middle, it appeared very possible South Africa would pull off another stunning recovery. It would have been a record-breaking fifth successful 200-run chase in the format.

However, West Indies kept their nerve, crucially having Hendricks caught by captain Rovman Powell at long on in the 19th over. The Windies still have not lost a T20I series in South Africa, with two wins and a draw.

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