Proteas turn the tables as spinners restrict West Indies to level series

By Sports Desk June 27, 2021

South Africa levelled the five-match Twenty20 series against West Indies at 1-1 as spin played a key role in clinching a 16-run win in Grenada on Sunday.

The Proteas appeared to have failed to capitalise on a strong start with the bat when posting 166-7, only slightly above the total they had been unable to defend in the opening game 24 hours earlier.

West Indies had cruised to an eight-wicket victory on Saturday, but this time around they were bamboozled by South Africa's slow bowlers, George Linde (2-19) and Tabraiz Shamsi (1-16) taking 3-35 from their eight overs combined.

Fabian Allen's late onslaught – the all-rounder smashed 34 off just 12 deliveries – kept his team in with a slender chance, but even three sixes off Lungi Ngidi (1-49) in the 20th over were not enough. The innings finished at 150-9, in the process ending West Indies' two-match winning run in the format.

 

South Africa had appeared on course to set a more challenging target when openers Reeza Hendricks and Quinton de Kock (26) put on 73, the stand coming to an end when the latter fell to Kevin Sinclair (2-23).

Captain Temba Bavuma (46) continued the good work of the first-wicket pairing as the tourists reached the midway stage on 95-1, yet they lost their way in the second half of the innings.

The miserly Sinclair accounted for Hendricks, who made 42, and the promise of a late push was curtailed by regular wickets, the Proteas slipping from 122-3 as Obed McCoy (3-25) excelled with the ball at the death.

The real McCoy? Absolutely!

Left-arm seamer McCoy returned his best T20 figures in international cricket, aided by going for just three runs in the 20th over. His back-of-the-hand slower ball accounted for both Heinrich Klaasen and Linde as South Africa slumped down the stretch, albeit the stuttering finish did not cost them in the end.

Allen just Fab, but still not enough

Andre Fletcher did make 35, but the opener used up 36 deliveries in the process of top scoring for West Indies. In contrast, Allen rushed along at a stunning strike-rate of 283.33 runs per 100 balls. His late cameo included five sixes but Ngidi got him in the end, trapped lbw by a yorker from the penultimate ball.

Related items

  • Guardiola: Man City controlled PSG, but Messi's goal was fantastic Guardiola: Man City controlled PSG, but Messi's goal was fantastic

    Manchester City controlled Paris Saint-Germain but were undone by a "fantastic" Lionel Messi goal, Pep Guardiola said.

    City were beaten 2-0 at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday in their Champions League clash with the Ligue 1 giants.

    Idrissa Gueye gave PSG a first-half lead and Bernardo Silva somehow hit the crossbar with the goal gaping with the best City chance of the half.

    The Premier League champions had 54 per cent of the possession but could not find a way past Gianluigi Donnarumma in the PSG goal, and Messi then made the result safe with a spectacular finish from Kylian Mbappe's lay-off.

    Yet Guardiola had few complaints about his side's performance, coming just three days after an impressive 1-0 win at Chelsea in the Premier League.

    "A good performance. We did everything, but we could not score," the City manager told BT Sport.

    "We defended well, they defend deep and of course the counter-attack is always dangerous with the quality they have, but we controlled them. Unfortunately, we couldn't score. It's football. Nothing to say, more than my biggest compliment to the team.

    "In the second half, we had many [chances]. Donnarumma made good saves, but the team was there, same as Stamford Bridge.

    "It's a pity because we played to win, we played to be there. Unfortunately, they don't need much to score goals, and they did it.

    "The goal [from Messi] was fantastic."

    City suffered their first Champions League group-stage defeat since September 2018, when they lost 2-1 to Lyon – they had been unbeaten in 18 such games since then.

    Guardiola's City had 18 shots against PSG, their joint-most without scoring in a Champions League match, also failing with all of their 18 shots against Porto in December 2020.

    The result puts PSG top of the group with four points, just one ahead of Club Brugge and City, who must now turn their attention to a showdown with Liverpool on Sunday.

    Guardiola did not appear concerned that Tuesday's loss would have much of an impact on their chances at Anfield, though.

    "Now, we are going to eat good tonight, we're going to drink a glass of wine, we're going to recover and we're going to prepare the game on Sunday," he said.

  • Griezmann hopes goal will kick-start his Atletico comeback after making Champions League history Griezmann hopes goal will kick-start his Atletico comeback after making Champions League history

    Atletico Madrid star Antoine Greizmann is hopeful his goal against Milan will kick-start his second coming in the Spanish capital after making Champions League history on Tuesday.

    Griezmann scored his first goal for Atletico since returning from Barcelona on deadline day as the LaLiga champions claimed a last-gasp 2-1 win over 10-man Milan.

    Atletico trailed 1-0 at half-time following Rafael Leao's opener but the visitors eventually capitalised on their numerical advantage after Milan's Franck Kessie received a second yellow card on the half-hour mark at San Siro.

    Griezmann fuelled Atletico's comeback on matchday two, coming off the bench and equalising in the 84th minute before Luis Suarez converted a penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

    Already Atletico's all-time leading goalscorer in the Champions League (22), Griezmann became the club's top scorer in away games after netting his sixth in the competition.

    "I hope to get to my best level as quickly as possible. [There've been] a lot of changes," Griezmann told Movistar post-game.

    "It [the transfer] was done on the last day and it's different tactics, a different dressing room, another way of playing. In the end it's a lot of changes.

    "Everything is different. I have to get used to it as quickly as possible because the coach and my team-mates need me. Nights like this are going to help me to get better.

     "[Head coach Diego Simeone] improved me, he got me to my best level. I want to pay him back and the club, the fans, my team-mates. I'm very proud to be here. I think the fans, the people, want to see me like this like tonight.

    "I want to bring them happiness and they'll be going to bed happy tonight. My only objective coming back here is to make them happy."

    This was Atletico's first away win against Italian opponents since they beat Milan in the Champions League in February 2014 (1-0), having been winless in four such games entering Tuesday's contest (D2 L2).

    Excluding extra time, Suarez's penalty at 96:21 was the latest game-winning goal in the Champions League since the start of the 2003-04 season (as far back as Opta have exact goal times).

  • Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff: Thill thunderbolt stuns Los Blancos at the Bernabeu Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff: Thill thunderbolt stuns Los Blancos at the Bernabeu

    Champions League debutants Sheriff pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the competition's history by stunning Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu with a dramatic 2-1 victory.

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

    However, it was the visitors who claimed a remarkable win to maintain their 100 per cent record in Group D, Sebastien Thill's stupendous left-footed strike in the 89th minute earning the Moldovan club their most famous win.

    Los Blancos subjected the minnows to a 31-shot barrage, with goalkeeper Georgios Athanasiadis forced into 10 saves, but the competition's most successful team were unable to salvage anything from the contest on a fairytale night for Sheriff.

     

     

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.