Brutal Lewis assault helps West Indies beat South Africa

By Sports Desk June 26, 2021

Evin Lewis smashed 71 off 35 balls as West Indies cruised to an eight-wicket win over South Africa in the first Twenty20 international in Grenada on Saturday.

Rassie van der Dussen (56 not out) and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock (37) helped the Proteas post a modest 160-6 as Fabian Allen (2-18) finished the pick of the West Indies bowlers.

A blistering assault from Lewis laid the foundations for the win as he and opening partner Andre Fletcher (30) put on 85 for the first wicket in seven overs.

Tabraiz Shamsi (1-27) claimed the wicket of Lewis, but Chris Gayle (32 not out) and skipper Andre Russell (23 not out) saw West Indies home with 30 balls to spare.

South Africa thrashed West Indies in their recent two-Test series, but these five T20 matches look set to go the other way based on this one-sided game.

West Indies, the reigning T20 world champions, won the toss and elected to bowl first at the National Stadium in St George's and kept South Africa's batsmen in check.

Left-arm spinner Allen bowled particularly impressively as he accounted for the wickets of Reeza Hendricks (17) and skipper Temba Bavuma (22) before veteran Dwayne Bravo (2-30) closed out the innings.

South Africa's attack were no match for the brutal hitting of the West Indies batsmen with Lewis, who shrugged off a blow to the midriff, reaching his half-century off 22 balls.

Lewis had whacked seven sixes and four fours by the time he sliced Shamsi's left-arm wrist spin into the hands of David Miller at long-off, but Gayle and Russell continued to pepper the boundary in a convincing win.

 

Lewis gives flashes of batting guru

With West Indies team-mate Gayle as his batting mentor, it should be no surprise the left-handed Lewis deals in maximums, and this innings was reminiscent of the six-machine at his pomp.

Too short from Ngidi

South Africa paceman Lungi Ngidi bowled with aggression but should have used his head. He bowled way too much short stuff, was promptly dispatched to the stands, and finished with 0-46 from three overs.

Related items

  • Giant-slaying Sheriff targeting Champions League last 16 after 'dream' win at Real Madrid Giant-slaying Sheriff targeting Champions League last 16 after 'dream' win at Real Madrid

    Sheriff's win over Real Madrid was a "dream come true" but captain Frank Castaneda warned the Champions League debutants will not dwell on the upset as they target the last 16 amid their giant-slaying run.

    In one of the biggest shocks in Champions League history, Sheriff claimed a late 2-1 victory at Spanish giants Madrid on Tuesday.

    Jasurbek Yakhshiboev's first-half header was cancelled out by Karim Benzema's spot-kick after the interval in the Spanish capital, given following a VAR check after Vinicius Junior went down in the box.

    However, Sheriff had the final say to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group D, Sebastien Thill's thunderous strike in the 89th minute earning the Moldovan visitors a remarkable triumph.

    "For us this is a dream come true to have won here," Castaneda said. "We're so happy, and just enjoying it. We have full faith in what we've been doing and things are going well for us.

    "We came here to win. We didn't just come here to sit around, we know how good our players are and luckily for us Madrid weren't able to take their chances and we took ours.

    "Thill's goal is out of this world. It's one you dream of. I thanked him at the end of the game!

    "We are dreaming of getting into the last 16 and that's our objective. Our attention now turns to Inter and we'll work hard in order to ensure we keep getting positive results." 

    Sheriff – who beat Albanian champions Tueta Durres, Armenian titleholders Alashkert, Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade, Croatian titleholders Dinamo Zagreb and Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk during their European campaign this term – became the first team to win their first two games in the Champions League since Premier League outfit Leicester City in the 2016-17 campaign.

    This was just the third ever away victory by a Moldovan team in a major European competition, following Zimbru Chisinau in the UEFA Cup in 1995 and Sheriff themselves in the UEFA Europa League in 2017.

    Sheriff head coach Yuriy Vernydub said: "I'm happy to play a game like that against Madrid. I'm so full of emotion and thankful to my boys for what they've done. They went out there as a side, and we deserved it.

    "Of course we knew that we were going to have to defend. We did that well and we countered really well too, and we were able to score a winner right at the end.

    "I'm happy and proud of my side, these boys. We're on the right path and we'll continue to follow it."

    Sheriff are three points clear of Madrid atop of Group D, while they are five points ahead of Inter and Shakhtar.

    "We aren't thinking about the last 16 yet as we still haven't done anything extraordinary, we're just going forward step by step," said Vernydub. "We have four very important games to go, and when it comes to the final group stage game then we'll talk about the next round."

    Sheriff match-winner Thill added: "We're so happy today. We played a really good game. The side were so brave with how we played and luckily enough I was able to score a bit of a stunner.

    "It's the best and most important goal of my career, that's for sure! We'll go game by game. We've got a tough group, and we'll give our all in what's left of it."

  • Messi savours 'perfect night' after opening PSG account in win over Man City Messi savours 'perfect night' after opening PSG account in win over Man City

    Lionel Messi revelled in his maiden goal for Paris Saint-Germain as the superstar helped take down Manchester City 2-0 in the Champions League.

    Messi scored his first goal for PSG, who gained some revenge for their 2020-21 Champions League semi-final loss to Pep Guardiola's City on Tuesday.

    After Idrissa Gueye broke the deadlock inside 10 minutes, Messi opened his PSG account with a sublime strike 16 minutes from the end in the French capital.

    Messi savoured his first goal for PSG, the 673rd of the six-time Ballon d'Or winner's illustrious club career as the Ligue 1 giants took their tally to four points from two matchdays.

    "It was a perfect night against a great opponent," Messi, who joined PSG on a free transfer at the conclusion of his Barcelona contract in the off-season, told Canal+. 

    "For us, it was very important to win this game after Club Brugge [1-1 away draw].

    "I am very happy to have scored. I haven't played much recently; I had only played one game here [at the Parc des Princes]. I am adapting little by little. What is important is to keep winning."

    Messi has scored more Champions League goals against City (seven) than any other player, while his seven strikes against sides managed by Pep Guardiola (two against Bayern Munich, five versus City with him as manager) is also the most of any player in the competition's history.

    Meanwhile, Messi has scored 27 Champions League goals against English clubs – 15 more than any other player. Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals against opponents of a specific nation (28, versus German teams) in Champions League history.

    Kylian Mbappe was instrumental in the creation of Messi's latest, teeing him up in a clever one-two, and Messi hopes to continue improving his understanding with the Frenchman and Neymar.

    "Our relationship will get better and better with each game. We all have to grow together, increase our level of play. We have to continue," Messi added.

    "We won a very important game against a very big rival, who was in the final last year. We must continue to progress, improve a lot of things for the future."

  • Messi awakens as PSG star's dominance of English clubs continues Messi awakens as PSG star's dominance of English clubs continues

    For so long, the idea of Lionel Messi being anywhere other than Barcelona seemed utterly alien, but if he was going to leave, teaming up with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City – a club so heavily influenced by the Blaugrana – was surely the most likely option.

    But there he was, lining up in the navy blue of Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday, Guardiola in the opposite dugout and City on the other side of the pitch.

    There was more than a hint of inevitability about what came to pass, as Messi made a telling impact in trademark fashion towards the end to put the match beyond City in what was a 2-0 win for PSG.

    But the predictability of his decisiveness didn't exactly come from an overriding brilliance that was displayed in this encounter in general.

    In fact, Messi was somewhat subdued for much of the match.

    His first-half performance was littered – by his standards, anyway – with heavy touches and his influence in the final third was lacking.

    After all, he finished the game without contributing a single key pass, making this one of only four matches across all competitions since the beginning of last season that Messi's started but not set up a chance in.

    Of course, it's worth taking into consideration that Messi's arrival at PSG was delayed by his Copa America involvement, he then went away on international break and also recently suffered a minor knee injury.

    A slow start was almost to be expected in those circumstances, even for someone as good as Messi, but with City throwing men forward in search of an equaliser, you always got the sense he would get one opportunity on the break.

    He did, and it produced a goal that will go down in history as his first club goal away from Barcelona.

    Messi received the ball out on the right flank, just inside the City half, darted forward with much of the visitors' side on the offensive, and as Achraf Hakimi overlapped on the right, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner cut inside.

    He held off Rodri as he played a one-two with Kylian Mbappe, the Frenchman's touch exceptional given the pressure he was under, and Messi strode on to the return pass before guiding it effortlessly into the top-right corner with a first-time finish.

    So much of it was quintessential Messi, from the surging 19.2-metre dash to the glorious ease with which he picked out the one area of the net Ederson wouldn't be able to reach. It also summed up just how devastating he is: one shot, one goal.

    Even with 672 club career goals preceding that one, it's still impossible to tire from seeing Messi hit the back of the net – or, perhaps it is now a little boring if you support an English club.

    That was his 27th Champions League goal against a Premier League team, which is – remarkably – 15 more than any other player (Cristiano Ronaldo, 12) in the competition's history. Ronaldo is the only player to score more against teams from a specific nation (28 versus German clubs) in Europe's elite competition.

    While Arsenal may have proven particularly powerless against Messi over the years, conceding nine times to him in just six games, it's fair to say he boasts a stunning record against City that few could match in this era, his tally now sitting at seven from as many games.

    Messi seemingly has a similar kind of hold over Guardiola as well, given that was the seventh time he's scored against his old boss in the Champions League, a record.

    It was under Guardiola at Camp Nou that Messi was initially elevated to his world-class perch, and there he has remained.

    After a rather uncharacteristically quiet beginning in Paris, perhaps it was only fitting that his mentor was there behold Messi's true arrival in Paris.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.