South Africa stand-in Captain Rassie van der Dussen gave his West Indian counterparts all the praise in the world after his side suffered a dominant 0-3 defeat in their three T20Is from May 23-26 at Sabina Park in Kingston.

The hosts won last Thursday’s first encounter by 28 runs, their biggest win over South Africa in T20Is, and followed it up with a 16-run win in the second game on Saturday and a dominant eight-wicket triumph in the third match on Sunday.

The skipper put the South African performance down to an inability to quickly adapt to the conditions of the Sabina Park pitch.

“We just couldn’t adapt early enough. Yes, we had a long week in terms of layovers in Miami and so forth. I think we saw that in the first match but you can’t keep making the same mistakes,” van der Dussen said after Sunday’s game.

“I think we just got taught a lesson on how to play in Caribbean conditions, especially from a bowling front. It was a difficult wicket to bat on. I think they just out-skilled us, especially with the ball,” he added.

When asked about positives he could take from the three games, he singled out openers Quinton de Kock and Reeza Hendricks as well as young leg-spinner Nqaba Peter who played the last two games, the first two T20Is of his career.

The 35-year-old, who was left out of South Africa’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, says an adjustment he hopes the team makes with the bat is to take a few more chances up front.

“Maybe just be a bit braver. We saw the way the West Indies play, especially in the power play. They really take it on and when the ball’s newer, it’s easier to score than in the back end when the ball gets soft,” he said.

 

Roston Chase and Gudakesh Motie played starring roles to lead the West Indies to a 16-run win over South Africa and an unassailable 2-0 series lead at Sabina Park in Kingston on Saturday.

The hosts, after winning the toss and batting first, made an imposing 207-7 from their 20 overs on a much-improved Sabina Park pitch.

Stand-in Captain Brandon King, who stood out with a top score of 79 in the first T20I, got the ball rolling quickly on Saturday with a 13-run third over off the bowling of Anrich Nortje, who South Africa brought in for this game in place of Gerald Coetzee.

Johnson Charles, playing his 50th T20I, once again failed to make any inroads with the bat as he was first to fall, caught in the deep off the bowling of Bjorn Fortuin for seven.

Kyle Mayers joined the skipper and the pair brought the score up to 51-1 at the end of the first powerplay with King 35* off 20 balls and looking set for another big one and Mayers on nine from seven balls.

Unfortunately for the hosts and the Sabina Park crowd, King’s knock didn’t last much longer as he became the first T20I wicket for debutant Nqaba Peter when he was caught at long on for 36 in the seventh over.

Peter got his second wicket not long after when Mayers, after hitting a six the ball before, became the third West Indies batsman to get out caught in the deep. He made a 16-ball 32 including two fours and three sixes. The score at the time of his wicket was 83-3 with one ball left in the ninth over.

At the halfway point, the hosts were 88-3 with Roston Chase and Andre Fletcher at the crease on 10 and three, respectively.

The pair then batted beautifully to put on a further 56 in short time before Fletcher fell for 29 to leave the West Indies 139-4 with five overs left.

Not long after, Chase brought up an excellent maiden T20I fifty with a flat six over mid-wicket off Lungi Ngidi in the 17th over. His milestone came off 30 balls.

The 19th over proved to be the most crucial for the West Indies as a trio of sixes from Romario Shepherd brought the score past the 200 mark before he fell off the last ball of that over for 26 off just 13 balls.

In the end, Chase finished 67* off just 38 balls including seven fours and two sixes.

Peter was the pick of the South African bowlers with 2-32 from his four overs while Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo took 2-41 and 2-51 from their respective four over spells.

The start from South Africa then had Sabina Park silent as openers Reeza Hendricks and Quinton De Kock absolutely hammered the West Indian bowling around the park on the way to an opening partnership of 81 in the first five overs.

The last ball of that fifth over proved to be the start of the West Indian fightback as De Kock took one risk too many and was bowled by Akeal Hosein for 41 off just 17 balls including four fours and as many sixes.

Three balls later, one became two for the Windies as Reeza Hendricks, who made 87 in the first game on Thursday, was dismissed by Chase for 34 to leave the tourists 83-2 at the halfway point of the sixth over.

Ryan Rickelton and Matthew Breetzke then added a further 30 before the latter went for an ill-advised second run and was run out thanks to a brilliant throw from the deep mid-wicket boundary by Shamar Joseph for 12 off the penultimate ball of the 10th over.

Rickelton was next to go, caught off the bowling of Romario Shepherd for 19 to leave the score at 124-4 off 12 overs.

Not long after, Andile Phehlukwayo fell to another brilliant piece of fielding from Joseph, this time a catch in the deep off the bowling of Gudakesh Motie for three to leave the South Africans reeling at 138-5 in the 15th over.

Any chance South Africa had of pulling off the chase was dashed when Gudakesh Motie dismissed both Rassie Van Der Dussen (30) and Wiaan Mulder (9) in the 17th over.

In the end, South Africa reached 191-7 from their 20 overs, 16 runs short of their target.

Motie ended with 3-22 from his four overs while Shepherd bowled a crucial spell with 1-21 from his four.

Chase, who was named man of the match, completed a fine all-round performance with 1-26 from his four overs.

Chase says the team has eyes on a series sweep.

“Obviously we’ve started the series well being 2-0 up but three is better than two. I just think it’s for us to look at some of the areas where we were weak today and plan to execute them better tomorrow and improve on the areas we did well in as well,” he said.

“The guys have been playing some good cricket, we just had a camp in Antigua and we’ve put in a lot of hard work so it’s just for us to come out and execute and mostly, enjoy the cricket. I think once you go out there to enjoy the cricket, it becomes a lot easier and takes a bit of pressure off of you so it’s just to go out there and have fun,” he added.

The third T20I is set for Sunday.

 

 

 

 

It is no secret that many across the region believe Roston Chase is not quality enough to have been selected in West Indies’ 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. But Chase could care less about those critics, as he is more focused on delivering the goods leading up to, and during the June 1-29 global showpiece.

Despite lacking the power of his big-hitting counterparts, Chase has proven that he can be effective in the game’s shortest format. Since his debut at the 2021 World Cup, he has so far played 12 T20Is for West Indies and has tallied 143 runs with a strike rate of 110.0, with 10 wickets for 212 runs to his name.

The 32-year-old, who recently captained Windies 'A' team to a 3-2 series victory away to Nepal, and is currently serving as vice-captain to stand-in captain Brandon King for the regional side’s three-match warm-up series against South Africa, is confident in his abilities, regardless of what others think.

“People may not necessarily know the intricate details that go into playing a cricket match. I'm not one of the big superstars that may hit the ball 100 metres or bowl at 90 miles per hour or take a five-wicket haul or anything like that, but I think I still play a key and vital role in the team,” Chase said in a Cricket West Indies (CWI) interview.

“So people just tend to see me chipping in here and they say, 'Chase ain't no good.' But I know what I can do, my teammates know what I can do, and the coaches know what I can do. But at the end of the day everyone has their own opinion,” he added.

With 49 Test matches to his name, Chase’s credentials in that format speaks for themselves, as he been a steady middle-order batsman since his 2016 debut. He is one of only four West Indian, after Denis Atkinson, Collie Smith and Garry Sobers, to take a five-wicket haul and score a hundred in a Test –a feat he achieved in his second Test, at Sabina Park.

The Barbadian rose to prominence in T20s during the 2021 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season, when he finished as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) after a tally of 446 runs and 10 wickets. He also assisted St Lucia Kings to the final –their second in CPL history –in that 2021 season.

That performance resulted in his inclusion for the 2021 T20 World Cup, where he played the last three matches in West Indies' failed campaign as they were eliminated at the group stage. He next featured for the Windies in a 3-0 series loss away to India in February 2022, before being discarded from the T20 setup for just over a year.

Now back in the team, Chase is determined to prove his worth, with both bat and ball, and his performance in Thursday’s opening warm-up contest against South Africa, underscored that much.

The right-hander, who bowls off spin, played an anchor role in West Indies innings and scored an unbeaten 30-ball 32, before returning to take one wicket for 12 runs from two overs, in the 28-run win at Sabina Park.

"I know that I don't have a lot of variations, so I just try to think as quickly as I can on my feet and I try to be as smart as I can, especially with the ball. I know my role is kind of the power-play bowler, so I think that's probably one of the hardest jobs outside of death bowling," Chase shared.

"You have to want to bowl in the power play. It's a tough job, but I always try to go into it with a clear mind and strong belief,” he noted.

With the World Cup now exactly one week away, Chase pointed out that West Indies –who will co-host with the United States –need to fine tune their all-around approach against the Proteas.

The second and third encounters are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, also in Kingston. West Indies, who won T20 titles in 2012 and 2016, will open their World Cup account against Papua New Guinea, on June 2, in Guyana.

“I think this is a time for us to just get our tactics and strategies right and get the guys gelling," Chase declared.

“Obviously, the areas we have been weak in over the past couple of series, in terms of controlling the power play in the bowling aspect – I think that's one area, once we tend to do well in the game, we usually come out on top,” he ended.

In a bid to foster a deeper appreciation for cricket among the youth of the Caribbean, Cricket West Indies (CWI) provided tickets for students and teachers, as well as members of Jamaica’s age-group teams to enjoy the three-match series between West Indies and South Africa at Sabina Park.

The initiative which CWI says forms part of its corporate social responsibility efforts. The regional body provided 2,685 tickets to students, 412 to teachers, and 198 tickets to players from the Under-15, Under-17 and Uner-19 teams, ensuring these young athletes have the chance to experience top-tier cricket action.

The Schools Ticketing Programme, a central element of this initiative, is designed to immerse young minds in the thrill of cricket, offering them the opportunity to witness international matches and develop a lasting passion for the sport.

CWI President, Dr. Kishore Shallow, underscored the importance of cultivating a strong cricket culture across the region, and this he said reflects his administration’s ongoing commitment to youth engagement and sports development.

"We are keen to help revitalize cricket in Jamaica. Introducing the children to cricket is vital for the future of the sport in Jamaica and the entire region. By bringing students to these matches, we are not only providing them with an enjoyable experience but also nurturing an appreciation and love for cricket that can grow with them,” Shallow said.

"This Schools Ticketing Programme initiative is about more than just watching a game; it's about creating a connection with the sport that can inspire future generations,” he added.

Recently-elected Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President Dr. Donovan Bennett, expressed enthusiasm for the initiative and its potential impact.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with CWI for this Schools Ticketing Programme. This initiative promotes cricket and instils values of teamwork, discipline, and perseverance in our young people," he said.

"By exposing students to live cricket matches, they are getting a deeper understanding and appreciation for the game. This experience is invaluable for their personal and athletic development,” Dr. Bennett noted.

West Indies won Thursday’s first game by 28 runs. The remaining two matches of the series are scheduled for Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 at the same venue. Start time is 2:00pm.

It was a welcome return of international cricket to Sabina Park, even moreso for stand-in captain Brandon King, who led from the front as West Indies downed South Africa by 28 runs in the first of their three Twenty20 (T20) warm-up encounters on Thursday.

King, who is leading the team for the first time on his home soil, gave the decent size crowd much to cheer about with a well-played 79 off 45 balls, which assisted the Caribbean side to 175-8 from their allotment, before Matthew Forde (3-27), Gudakesh Motie (3-25) and Obed McCoy (2-15), restricted South Africa to 147 in 19.5 overs.

Despite the absence of the main scoreboard –which has been out for almost four years now –as well as an underprepared tabled press area, King and company ensured that the first international game at the venue since 2022, was a successful one.

The 29-year-old, who is deputizing for compatriot Rovman Powell, attributed his Player-of-the-Match knock, which included six fours and six maximums, to the familiar conditions.

“Obviously it is leading up to the World Cup so we want to be playing good cricket and we got the win today, so we are happy with that and I think we played well all around,” King said in a post-game interview.

“I had the advantage of knowing the conditions well and I know that it is easiest to bat when it’s the new ball so I had to try and get a good start and I executed well. At the mid-way point I think we had 200-220 in mind as we had wickets in hand but it is a difficult wicket to bat on when the ball gets older, but we still managed to get a competitive total on this wicket,” he added.

After being asked to take first strike, King started positively, but lost opening partner Johnson Charles (one) in the fourth over with the score at 36.

However, he found another useful ally in Kyle Mayers, and the added a further 79 runs for the second wicket, with King, the aggressor raising his 10th international half-century off 27 balls in the sixth over when he drove a length delivery from Lungi Ngidi to the midwicket boundary.

The skipper continued to take the South African bowlers to task, before he eventually went, reaching for one of Andile Phehlukwayo that came off the toe of the bat and was caught by his opposite number Rassie van der Dussen.

Still, at 115-2 after 11 overs, West Indies remained on course for a massive total, but then came the familiar collapse as they lost three wickets in quick succession. Mayers was first to go for a 25-ball 34, including three sixes and a solitary four, with Andre Fletcher (one) and Fabian Allen (one) following.

In fact, apart from vice-captain Roston Chase, who made a measured unbeaten 32 off 30 balls, which had two fours and a six, none of the batsmen got into double figures.

Phehlukwayo (3-28) and Ottneil Baartman (3-26) did the damage for South Africa.

In reply, South Africa started with Quinton De Cock driving Matthew Forde’s first ball, a full length delivery, straight down the ground. However, the 22-year-old Barbadian responded immediately as he served up another full length delivery, just around off stump, which forced de Kock into another drive, but the left-hander got a slight edge and Andre Fletcher made no mistakes behind the stumps.

Debutant Ryan Rickelton (six) also had a brief stay in the middle, and from there, the visitors laboured, despite Reeza Hendricks making his 15th T20 international half-century. Hendricks, who was ninth man out with just two balls left of the innings, made a career-best 87 off 51 balls with six sixes and six fours.

Captain Rassie van der Dussen (17) and Matthew Breetzke (19) were the only other South African batsmen to reach double figures.

The second and third games of the series are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, at the same venue, ahead of the much-anticipated June-1-29 T20 World Cup hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

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.

It is often said that it is not how you start, but how you finish that counts. Waterhouse, by virtue of their current vein of form in the Wray and Nephew Jamaica Premier League, has embodied that saying.

In fact, to say that the Drewsland-based team is rising to the occasion when it matters most would be an understatement, as they recovered from an inconsistent run in the preliminary stage, where they placed sixth, and are now in the semi-final.

Waterhouse confirmed their spot in the final four on Monday after they downed Tivoli Gardens 2-0 in second leg quarterfinal action, for a 3-1 aggregate scoreline, at Sabina Park.

Javane Bryan (14th) and Andre Fletcher (45+6) were on target for Waterhouse, who has booked a semi-final date with reigning champions Mount Pleasant FA. First leg action is scheduled for Sunday at the same venue.

With his side taking a seven-match unbeaten run into that contest, Waterhouse’s assistant coach Damion Gordon is confident, but aware that they will be up against a Mount Pleasant team with great attributes, quality and real individual talent. Waterhouse last made a deep run in the league in the truncated 2021 season, when they lost the final to Cavalier in a penalty shootout.

“I think our chances of winning are just like any other team before the game is played. So, we just have to prepare as best as we can for Mount Pleasant, which is a very difficult team, but again, at this stage of the tournament, you just have to bring your A game and come Sunday I think the better team will win,” Gordon said.

Reflecting on the performance, he lauded the team for character and fight shown on the day.

“We are grateful, we always take a hungry step towards everything and tonight (Monday) we did that. I think we started very well; I still think that we had some more chances that we should have capitalised on, but we are grateful for the win nonetheless. Hats off to Tivoli, I think they really pressed us, and I think they forced us in terms of testing our defensive shape and fortitude which came to the fore,” Gordon noted.

The contest started in a sombre manner, as Tivoli Gardens lost young starlet Nickalia Fuller with what appeared to be a broken right leg, after he went into a tough challenge with Waterhouse’s Shamarie Dallas. The physical and psychological impact of that challenge later took effect on Dallas, who wept openly as he also left the field soon after.

Still, Waterhouse maintained their composure, and later found the lead when Bryan fired home his 16th goal of the season from close range, after sloppy play by Tivoli Gardens captain Odean Pennycooke allowed Revaldo Mitchell through on goal to get off the initial effort that was blocked.

Tivoli Gardens came into their own and tried to play their game, but were unable to make their half chances count, as Alton Lewis fired wide from inside the 18-yard box, in the 28th minute.

Nine minutes later, substitute Lennox Russell, who entered the contest for Fuller, had Tivoli’s best chance of the half, as his well-struck right-footer from an angle, was kept out by Kemar Foster at his near post.

Waterhouse regained their attacking fire at the backend of the half, and found a second in time added, when Leonardo Jibbison’s cross found an unmarked Fletcher, who made no mistakes with a well-taken left-footed finish for his 12th of the season, which put the two-time champions 2-0 up at the break.