Aiden Markram was in no mood to celebrate despite helping South Africa secure their place in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup. 

The Proteas earned a three-wicket victory over co-hosts West Indies at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. 

South Africa restricted their opponents to 135-8, but lost Reeza Hendricks (1) and Quinton de Kock (7) in the second over before Tristan Stubbs and Heinrich Klaasen steadied the ship. 

Marco Jansen was the man to get them over the line, holding his his nerve and hitting a six to secure the triumph with five balls of the contest remaining.

"A lot of relief to get through to the semi-final," captain Markram, who scored 18 runs from 22 balls, said after the encounter. 

"But I'm not going to be brainwashed by that, we'd have liked to be a lot more convincing in getting the job done.

"It's been the story of our competition to get ourselves into tricky situations then by hook or by crook, get over the line."

For the West Indies, the defeat ended their hopes of claiming a third T20 World Cup title, having lost to England and overcoming fellow co-hosts the United States in their Super 8 fixtures. 

"Credit to the boys, they fought to the very end. As a batting group, best to forget, the middle overs especially," Windies captain Rovman Powell said. 

"When you look on a large scale, we haven't reached the semis. But the cricket we've played in the last 12 months is commendable. To move from number nine to number three in the world, there's a lot of buzz in West Indies cricket.

"When we hear the anthem play we hear something, we're heading in the right direction."

Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada impressed as South Africa held on to defeat the United States by 18 runs in an entertaining encounter as the Super 8s began at the T20 World Cup on Wednesday.

Opener De Kock smashed 74 runs from just 40 balls and captain Aiden Markram added 46 for the Proteas as their top order finally fired after enduring a difficult start to the tournament.

Even though Harmeet Singh (2-24) removed De Kock and David Miller (0) in consecutive balls in the 13th over, Heinrich Klaasen (36 not out) and Tristan Stubbs (20no) helped South Africa to a healthy 194-4 in Antigua.

USA fell to 76-5 just after the midway point of their innings as it looked like a chase of 195 would fall flat, but a magnificent partnership of 91 from 43 balls between Andries Gous and Harmeet took USA to within 28 of their target with two overs to spare.

However, Rabada took the crucial wicket of Harmeet for 38 and killed the contest as his 19th over went for that wicket and just two runs, capping a fine bowling display that saw him finish with figures of 3-18 from four overs.

Gous batted on and finished with an impressive unbeaten 80 off 47 balls, but USA fell short as South Africa maintained their 100 per cent record in the competition so far.

Data Debrief: De Kock and Gous impress

After USA won the toss and elected to field before removing Reeza Hendricks (11) in the third over, they sensed an opportunity to seize control.

But De Kock had other ideas, smashing three successive sixes as South Africa scored a huge 28 off the fourth over to seize momentum they did not relinquish from there.

De Kock’s superb innings included five maximums and seven fours until he was finally removed by Harmeet in the 13th over.

As the South Africa star left the field, only three players had recorded a better innings than him in this year's tournament – West Indies' Nicholas Pooran (98), USA's Aaron Jones (94 not out) and Afghanistan batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz (who has had scores of 80 and 76).

But Gous then immediately topped him with an excellent knock of his own, and the American now has the most runs in the tournament with 182, putting him 15 ahead Gurbaz, who is back in action against India on Thursday.

Tabraiz Shamsi was "relieved" as his heroics helped South Africa edge to a one-run victory over Nepal at the T20 World Cup in Kingstown.

Nepal looked on the verge of a shock victory, needing two from the final ball to secure the win. However, Ghulsan Jha was run out at the non-striker's end as South Africa came through unscathed to make it four wins from four at the tournament.

Despite Ottniel Baartman bowling the final over, it was Shamsi's 4-19 that proved crucial in South Africa getting over the line, including two wickets in the 18th over to turn the game back in his team's favour.

The spinner was thankful South Africa avoided an unlikely defeat, telling reporters: "[I am] definitely relieved.

"The team is standing up to the pressure and that's great to see."

Proteas captain Aiden Markram praised the efforts of Nepal, whose narrow defeat means they are eliminated from the competition with one game to spare in Group D.

"You have to give Nepal a lot of credit," Markram said. "Throughout the game they put us under a lot of pressure, and it shows the quality they have."

While Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel was disappointed in the defeat, he also took pride in how his team fared against one of the tournament favourites.

"I'm very proud of the unit, the way we bowled and batted," Paudel stated. "We were very close but a little far."

Aiden Markram admitted South Africa rode their luck as they maintained their perfect record at the T20 World Cup with a tense four-run win over Bangladesh on Monday.

The Proteas looked to be heading for their first loss in Group D when they toiled to 113-6 in Long Island, but some slow scoring from Bangladesh left the match in the balance late on.

Requiring seven runs from the final three balls for victory, Bangladesh saw both Jaker Ali and Mahmudullah caught by Markram, who was in the right place at the right time on the boundary as South Africa's opponents went in search of a maximum.

The result keeps South Africa top of Group D and on course for a Super-8 berth with six points, four clear of Bangladesh, but Markram acknowledged they had been lucky.

"You're always pretty nervous in the final over in a game like that. It was always on a knife's edge, it can make you mentally tired," he said after the match.

"It's always nice to be in them though. Sometimes you get on the right side of it, sometimes not, but it's very entertaining. 

"That 19.5 full toss could've gone anywhere, it could've gone two more metres further and we'd have had a different conversation. 

"A few things went our way today, we were very fortunate to get on the right side.

"Today was one of those days where the seamers were bowling well, we wanted to drag it to the end where anything could happen in the last over."

Heinrich Klaasen hit a vital 46 to drag South Africa to 113 after they had been teetering on 23-4, putting up a 79-run partnership with David Miller, who hit 29.

"We're putting Klaasen and Miller under pressure but they've been exceptional," Markram added.

"They've gone back-to-back with crucial partnerships, got us to a score that was luckily enough to win but still one we could defend. It's fantastic for Klaasy to get back in form."

Half of their respective squads might be unavailable, but that doesn’t make the three-match warm-up series between West Indies and South Africa any less important, and both will be hoping to make a statement heading into the ICC Men’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup.

Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Holder, Andre Russell and Alzarri Joseph are out for West Indies, while Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, Tristan Stubbs, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj and Kagiso Rabada for South Africa. Though all are not still engaged in the Indian Premier League (IPL), some, like Pooran and Hope, are being rested and others, like Rabada, are recovering from illness.

Still, the upside to the contests is that discarded players, and those out-of-form players in the squad, now have an opportunity to convince their coaches –albeit for Thursday’s first game at Sabina Park – as the ICC expects all confirmed squads on Saturday, May 25.

First ball is 2:00pm.

Brandon King, who has been charged with leading the depleted West Indies side, knows that much and, as such, is expecting players to show their worth ahead of the June 1-29 global showpiece to be held in the Caribbean and United States.

Kyle Mayers is one of those discarded players. The Barbadian scored no T20I fifties in 11 innings since touring South Africa in 2023 and was dropped thereafter, but made 243 runs in six innings at the BPL and boasts a T20 strike rate above 150 this year and above 143 from 40 matches last year. With power-hitting among the most talked-about attributes of top-order batters, this is his chance to show he still has it.

Kyle Mayers showed some semblance of form in the BPL.

From a bowling perspective, the likes of Obed McCoy, one of the highest wicket takers in T20Is this year, found no space in a squad that has Alzarri and Shamar Joseph, Russell, Holder and Shepherd. He has an opportunity to show what he can do in home conditions.

“Obviously, it is the last series leading up to the World Cup, so we're looking to implement how we want to play in the World Cup in these three games. So it's really about that and trying to finalize everybody's roles and responsibilities going into the World,” King said in a pre-game press conference at Sabina Park, on Wednesday.

“I’ve had discussions with the coaches and with the other captain [Rovman Powell] and we have specific roles for each player that we would like them to go out and perform and, as I said, we're looking to start that in this series,” he added.

Though it will be his first time leading the regional side on home soil, and the first international game at Sabina Park in a while, King said there is no added pressure.

“Personally, I don't feel any added pressure, I like to be very positive thinking towards these things. It'll be a great memory looking back when you think about it. So, obviously we want to win the games for the fans, but it's just more excitement than pressure,” King declared.

Obed McCoy one of the highest wicket takers in T20Is this year.

“We've been preparing even before this series; we're coming from a training camp as well, so we've gotten a lot of volume in terms of training, so this is just to get some match practice leading up to the World Cup. The guys that are missing are also very experienced players, we've been playing series for the past two years, so their roles I don't think would have changed much and they will fit in when they come,” he shared.

While West Indies came away 2-1 winners in the last three-match series between the two in South Africa, King is by no means expecting their opponents to be even more formidable on this occasion, as they too have much to prove.

“They're a very good team. If you look at the players that they have on paper, it is a really solid eleven that they have, so, we have to be at the top of your game. It's not a team where you can relax or anything because they also play an aggressive brand of cricket, a very positive, confident brand of cricket.

“So, I would say we're looking to exploit our home advantage in this series. The, last time we played in their conditions and we end up winning and so it would be even more positive playing at home,” King noted.

That said, King pointed out that members of the team, like the many fans around the Caribbean and around the world, are eager to see what uncapped West Indies pacer Shamar Joseph has to offer in the game’s shortest version.

The 24-year-old Guyanese rose to prominence after his heroics during the Test series against Australia earlier this year.

“We're also very excited to see what he has. You'll definitely see him in this series at some point, but we're all excited to see what he has to offer,” King ended.

India completed the quickest victory in Test history, levelling their series against South Africa by winning early on the second afternoon in Cape Town.

The tourists chased down a fourth innings total of 79 in just 12 overs at Newlands to wrap up the entire game, scheduled to end on Sunday evening, in just 642 balls.

That made it the shortest Test win ever recorded in terms of deliveries bowled, shaving 14 off a record that has stood since 1932, when South Africa were also on the losing side against Australia in Melbourne.

Over the course of little more than four sessions of cricket, a wicket fell less than every 20 balls on average.

The Proteas, who won well in a hard-fought opening Test in Centurion, were dismissed for 55 on the first morning and improved to 176 only because of a solo effort from Aiden Markram, who made a backs-to-the-wall 106.

The opener’s effort was easily the standout knock of a breakneck encounter, as he occupied the crease for 164 minutes and faced 103 balls.

But with no other resistance as Jasprit Bumrah completed a haul of six for 61, it only delayed the inevitable.

India began their pursuit after lunch and wasted no time getting over the line.

They lost three wickets along the way, Yashavi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli all keeping the revolving door to the pavilion moving, but picked up 52 in boundaries as they ensured an unprecedentedly-swift conclusion.

Questions are sure to be asked over the state of the pitch, with the match officials to decide if the freakish brevity of the match was down to batting error or a poor surface.

Australia’s Mitchell Starc was looking forward to “a great spectacle of cricket” after his side book their spot in the World Cup final against hosts India.

Starc helped Australia conquer South Africa in the semi-final at Eden Gardens, claiming three for 34 and holding up his end in a vital partnership with captain Pat Cummins during the closing moments of a tense chase.

In the end Australia squeaked home by three wickets in a low-scoring encounter, with Starc’s new-ball burst doing a huge amount of heavy lifting.

He set the tone for the day by removing Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma in the first over, then dismissed Aiden Markram as he and Josh Hazlewood reduced their opponents to 24 for four.

The intensity is only going to be dialled up when they take on undefeated home favourites India in Ahmedabad on Sunday, with up to 100,000 locals ready to roar their nation on at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

And it is a prospect Starc is ready to embrace.

“It’s certainly going to be a big occasion, a World Cup Final in India. It’s going to be loud,” he said.

“I think it’s just going to be a great spectacle of cricket, no doubt. There’s going to be a lot of passion there. Certainly, everyone in our changing room is looking forward to it.

“I don’t think either changing room is new to big occasions. You want to take on the best and that’s why we play the game. They’ve been the best team in the tournament so far and we both find ourselves in the final. That’s what World Cups are about.”

Starc’s skipper, Cummins, was equally enthused about the prospect having been part of Australia’s last ODI world champion squad on home soil eight years ago.

“The stadium is going to be packed, pretty one-sided, but we’ve got to embrace it,” he said.

“The 2015 World Cup was a career highlight, so to be out there in a final in India, I can’t wait.”

Starc agreed with the idea that over the course of a hard-fought contest against South Africa, Australia’s victory lay in their aggression during the powerplay overs. While he and Hazlewood established a stranglehold over the batters, Travis Head and David Warner went on the attack as they raided 60 runs off the first six.

On both occasions, damage was done that could not be clawed back by the Proteas.

“We’ve seen throughout the tournament how tough the first 10 overs can be at certain times…when you’re willing to take the game on like that, sometimes you take a little bit of luck with you,” he said.

“It certainly went to plan with the ball today and the way we set up with the bat is to really be aggressive, take the game on and the freedom to give those guys to go out and play the way they like to.”

Losing coach Rob Walter gave South Africa credit for battling back into contention after their early collapse, making 212 on the back of David Miller’s 101, and insisted the age-old tag of ‘chokers’ was no longer fitting.

“It’s obviously gutting to lose a semi-final but beyond that, I’m incredibly proud of the fight shown by the lads,” he said.

“I guess you need to define what a ‘choke’ is. For me, a choke is losing a game that you’re in a position to win. In this instance, we were behind the eight ball right from the word go and we actually fought our way back into the competition and put up a score that gave us a chance.

“For me there’s nothing even remotely close to a choke that happened out there today. It’s a serious contest between two good teams, number two and three in the tournament.”

A maiden ODI century from Aiden Markram powered South Africa to a dominant 146-run victory over the Netherlands and a series sweep with it in Johannesburg.

Markram's impressive 175 helped the hosts to an imposing total of 370-8, before Sisanda Magala's five-for skittled any Dutch hope.

Victory not only means the Proteas clean up their two-game series, but also vault West Indies to go eighth in the World Cup Super League table and boost their automatic qualification hopes.

For the Netherlands however, it leaves them further adrift at the bottom as they prepare instead for a trip to Zimbabwe to compete in June's final qualifiers.

South Africa did not make the cleanest start after they were put in to bat, and looked laboured at 32-2 following the loss of Quinton de Kock (8) and Temba Bavuma (6) early on at Wanderers Stadium.

Markram's arrival at the crease saw a dramatic turnaround in fortunes as he punished the visitors with a freewheeling display, aided by David Miller's 91 for a 199-run fifth-wicket partnership.

Spirited efforts from Musa Ahmed (61) and Max O'Dowd (47) in response looked like they had set the stage for the Netherlands to make a game of it.

But the collapse of their tail – orchestrated by Magala with figures of 5-43 – ultimately saw them finish 224 all out, comfortably off the pace and condemned to another loss.

Markram rises to the occasion again

Two days after his 51 not out helped the Proteas to an eight-wicket win in their first game with the Netherlands, Markram was at it again in Johannesburg.

Not only was his 175 his maiden century in ODI cricket, but it also marks his highest individual score at senior international level across any format.

Magala pushes for World Cup spot

Just under 18 months on from his international debut against the Netherlands in November 2021, Magala enjoyed his best game yet with the ball in hand.

It is his first five-for in seven ODIs, and with the World Cup on the horizon, he will have done no damage to his prospects of potential inclusion.

South Africa boosted their chances of making the World Cup as captain Temba Bavuma's unbeaten 90 gave them a comfortable eight-wicket win over the Netherlands.

Needing to win both matches against the Dutch and hope Ireland lose at least one of their three matches against Bangladesh in May in order to qualify automatically for the World Cup, which will be held in India later this year, the Proteas eased to victory on Friday.

This ODI was the second of a three-match series that was supposed to take place in late 2021, but was postponed because of concerns over a COVID-19 variant. The first match ended with no result.

The importance of the match was reflected in the strong squad chosen by South Africa, with Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada included despite their imminent IPL commitments.

Nortje played a key role in restricting the Netherlands to 189 all out despite scores of 45 and 48 from Vikramijit Singh and Teja Nidamanuru respectively, taking 2/24 off his eight overs while Sisanda Magala and Tabraiz Shamsi picked up three wickets each.

It was the Netherlands' second-highest ODI score against South Africa, but the Proteas cruised to the winning total regardless as Bavuma's sublime innings (90 not out from 79 balls) helped them to victory.

Aiden Markram chipped in with a half-century off just 37 balls, though it was his captain who finished the job as Bavuma smashed the ball back past bowler Ryan Klein for four to seal the win.

A new era will start for both South Africa and West Indies when Aiden Markram and Rovman Powell lead the sides in the opening Twenty20 International match of the series on Saturday.

Markram this month replaced Temba Bavuma as captain, with the Test and one-day international skipper axed from the T20I squad.

The opener at SuperSport Park will also be the first T20I since Rob Walter took over as white-ball head coach and comes on the back of a 1-1 ODI series draw with the Windies.

Markram was given the honour of captaining his country in only his third ODI back in 2018, when Faf du Plessis was absent along with other senior players.

The batter felt that opportunity came too soon and believes the experience he has gained since then should stand him in good stead.

He said: "I was quite fresh back then. I was very hard on myself, and always wanted to do well and we know this sport, it doesn't always work out that way."

Markram added: "Being with the legendary team the Proteas had at the time, I paid attention to how Faf managed to marshal his troops.

"That is something I looked up to and strived for probably without him knowing, it was just through me observing from the side."

It will also be a special weekend for Powell in Centurion, where there will be a double-header before the series ends with a contest at JB Marks Oval Potchefstroom on Tuesday.

Powell was selected as the man to replace Nicholas Pooran, who stepped down after the T20 World Cup in Australia last November.

South Africa will be looking to take the momentum from a record-breaking series-levelling ODI win over the Windies in which Heinrich Klaasen was the star of the show.

Klaasen struck 119 off 61 balls as the Proteas chased down their victory target of 261 in just 29.3 overs in Potchefstroom, becoming the first team to score 250 or more to win in under 30 overs.

 

De Kock set to move level with De Villiers

Wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock is set to go joint-third on the list of the highest appearance-makers for the Proteas in T20Is, as he is currently one behind AB de Villiers' tally of 78.

De Kock has enjoyed facing West Indies in the shortest format, scoring half-centuries in each of his past three knocks.

Windies away form must be addressed

West Indies have won only one of their past 15 T20Is on tour, that coming against Zimbabwe last October. 

Facing South Africa could present a good opportunity to address that poor record, as the Proteas have lost four multi-game bilateral T20I series at home – that is their longest losing run in this format.

Aiden Markram has taken over as South Africa's Twenty20 International captain after Temba Bavuma vacated the role following his appointment as Test skipper.

Bavuma was dropped from the T20I squad altogether for the upcoming three-match series against West Indies later this month after he was named Test captain in February.

The batter will continue to lead the ODI team, but Markram will captain his country in the shortest format having averaged 38.21 runs in 27 innings since making his debut in 2019.

South Africa director of cricket Enoch Nkwe said: "I would like to congratulate Aiden on his appointment as captain of the Proteas T20I team.

"Leadership is extremely familiar to him having successfully led on so many levels. He is a player that inspires confidence and he has all the qualities to succeed in the role. We have no doubt will help take South Africa to the next level.

"At the same time, we would like to thank Temba for filling the position so aptly over the past two years. He has done a commendable job during this period and now has a new role to fulfil within the national set-up."

The squad did not include Faf du Plessis, who was reportedly keen on making a return to the team under new white-ball coach Rob Walter after retiring from Test cricket early in 2021.

Meanwhile, fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada have been left out of the squad for the three upcoming ODIs, though they will return for the following T20I series.

Nortje was on Monday ruled out of the second Test against the Windies this week due to a groin issue.

Cricket South Africa also confirmed JP Duminy has been appointed as permanent white-ball batting coach.

Aiden Markram enjoyed a tremendous return to Test cricket on the first day of the opener against West Indies with a century that ensured South Africa's subsequent minor collapse was not too drastic.

The Proteas began a new era at Centurion Park with Temba Bavuma as captain and Shukri Conrad as head coach, and it initially looked to be starting in style as Markram and former skipper Dean Elgar combined impressively.

But after that pair helped the hosts to 221-2, South Africa endured a difficult third session, eventually reaching 314-8 at stumps.

Elgar paid the price for the crushing defeat by Australia but benefited from early luck on Tuesday when his outside edge was dropped by Roston Chase.

He eventually fell to Alzarri Joseph (3-60), caught by Jermaine Blackwood – who did well to readjust himself – after ramping it too short.

Markram then took over.

He survived a scare on 99, the ball only hitting his shoulder before being caught and slapped the next delivery for four to bring up his century.

Yet Markram was also sent packing by Joseph, a devastating yorker at the base of off stump indicative of the Windies' gradual improvement.

Markram departed with South Africa on 236-4 – Tony de Zorzi's (28) inconspicuous run out began something of a collapse a little earlier, before Bavuma went for a duck thanks to another excellent Joseph delivery snaring him lbw.

Keegan Petersen (14), Heinrich Klaasen (20), Senuran Muthusamy (3) and Kagiso Rabada (8) all went back to the pavilion without making much of an impact.

Marco Jansen (17 not out) and Gerald Coetzee (11 not out) at least ensured South Africa passed 300.

 

Markram back from the wilderness

Markram was left out of the series with Australia in December and January amid what interim coach Malibongwe Maketa at the time called a "dip" in form.

It is fair to say he responded emphatically here, with 115 off 174 to give South Africa a real foothold. Ultimately, most of the rest of the team did not do his efforts justice, but either way this was a big moment for Markram, who looked quite emotional when confirming his sixth Test ton.

Joseph the Windies' inspiration

It took a while for the tourists to get to grips with South Africa, but there is little doubt Joseph played a vital role in turning the tide somewhat.

He claimed the scalps of both Elgar and Markram, as well as captain Bavuma, who barely knew what hit him when Joseph's ferocious delivery slapped straight into his shin.

Aiden Markram and Alzarri Joseph starred as honors were shared on day one of the first Test between the West Indies and South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday.

The hosts won the toss and decided to bat first, a decision that was proven to be the right one as Markram and Dean Elgar put on 141 for the first wicket before Elgar was dismissed for 71 by Joseph in the 36th over.

That brought debutant Tony de Zorzi to the crease to join Markram and the pair brought the score up to 221-1 in the 57th over before de Zorzi was run out for 28.

Before that partnership was ended, Markram, making his return to the Test side after being dropped last year. Brought up his fifth Test hundred off 150 balls.

Two balls after de Zorzi’s wicket, Temba Bavuma, in his first innings as South Africa’s Test Captain, was dismissed for a duck.

Four overs later, Markram’s knock finally came to an end when he was bowled by Joseph for a classy 115. His innings came off 174 balls and included 18 fours.

Markram’s wicket started a collapse for South Africa as they lost their next four wickets for 64 runs as Heinrich Klaasen (20), Senuran Muthusamy (3), Keegan Petersen (14) and Kagiso Rabada (8) all fell in quick succession.

South Africa ended the day 314-8 off 82 overs with Marco Jansen and Gerald Coetzee on 17 and 11, respectively.

Alzarri Joseph has, so far, taken 3-60 off 16 overs for the Windies.

Scores: South Africa 314-8 off 82 overs (Aiden Markram 115, Dean Elgar 71, Alzarri Joseph 3-60)

India captain Rohit Sharma was left frustrated by his team's erratic fielding after Sunday's five-wicket defeat to South Africa.

Aiden Markram's 52 and David Miller's unbeaten 59 guided the Proteas to victory at Perth Stadium in a thrilling, but low-scoring, T20 World Cup clash.

South Africa's bowling attack – spearheaded by pace duo Wayne Parnell (3-15) and Lungi Ngidi (4-29) – reduced India to 133-9 in their 20 overs, with Suryakumar Yadav (68) the only batsman to offer any firm resistance.

Yet India had hope when Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw and Temba Bavuma all fell in the first six overs of South Africa's chase. Miller and Markram subsequently steadied the ship for the Proteas, yet the latter was fortunate.

Rohit and Suryakumar both missed run-out attempts, while Markram was dropped by Kohli in the deep. Indeed, he brought up his half-century with a sliced shot that landed between two fielders on the boundary.

It was a collective effort that disappointed Rohit, who said: "I thought we fought well until the end, but South Africa played well. The pitch is such that the wicket can come any time for the seamers. It was a match-winning partnership from Miller and Markram.

"But we were not good enough on the field. We have played in such conditions, so conditions are not an excuse. We want to be consistent in that department.

"We could not hold on to our chances, we missed a few run-outs, including myself."

The victory moved South Africa top of Group 2, with the Proteas having taken five points from their opening three matches.

However, while Markram and Miller starred with the bat and Parnell and Ngidi were brilliant with the ball, it was another tough day for captain Bavuma, who scored only 10 before edging Mohammed Shami to Dinesh Karthik.

Bavuma has struggled for form in T20Is this year, with Sunday's short-lived knock only the third time he has reached double figures from 10 innings.

Former Proteas captain Markram, however, had words of support for his skipper.

"I think every player goes through these sort of form slumps," Markram said in a press conference when asked about Bavuma's struggles. "With games that are so close to each other, it can seem a lot worse than what it is.

"I think the whole team, management involved, have been there for Temba and our ideas don't change about his ability. We all know his ability and our team and the role that he plays, not just from batting, but also from a leadership point of view as well.

"His leadership in my opinion has been excellent. On-field decisions have been really good that he's making. So I've got no doubt he'll come right with the bat. If he does, and we can get off to some good starts, I think it's going to help our batting unit a lot, but certainly not doubting his ability at all.

"I think the whole team, and I can speak on behalf of the team, we all support him. It happens to everyone. We've all been through it. I've been through it more than once, unfortunately. It's always just one knock away, and that's sort of the message that Temba has been given for the time being."

It was a tale of four batsmen in Bristol, with Reeza Hendricks playing a key role as South Africa sealed a 21-run victory against Ireland in the first of two T20Is.

A partnership of 112 between Hendricks (74) and Aiden Markram (56) helped the Proteas to a total of 211-5 from their 20 overs.

Gareth Delany (2-31) dismissed both in consecutive deliveries, but additional help from Tristan Stubbs (24 from 11 balls) and Dwaine Pretorius (21 from 7) at the end of the innings ultimately made all the difference.

Ireland's reply got off to a steady start, but a middle order collapse left them on 84-5 after 9.2 overs.

Lorcan Tucker and George Dockrell stepped up to mount a comeback, with Tucker hitting 78 from just 38 balls, including seven fours and five sixes, while Dockrell ably supported with 43 from 28 deliveries.

However, like Hendricks and Markram, both were out to consecutive balls to Tabraiz Shamsi (2-37) and Pretorius (1-44), with Ireland's tail unable to produce the same support that South Africa's middle order had as they closed on 190-9.

Page 1 of 2
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.